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November 1, 2023

Russians Dominate Visa Applicants to Spain in Last 6 Years

Russian nationals have applied the most for Spanish visas during the period between 2017 and 2022, breaking the record with a total of 1.8 million applications.

According to Schengen Statistics, Russian applicants dominate the application rates, as even the second-largest nationality group to file the most applications, Moroccans, have submitted just over half the number of applications filed by Russians, with 972,000 applications compared to 1.8 million, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Application rates by Russians peaked in 2019, with 568,681 requests, while dropping significantly in the following year –  to 58,817, which is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, the decline of Russian applicants was 70.6 per cent.

Asia is the Continent of Origin for Half of Top Visa Applicants to Spain

The list of top ten visa applicants to Spain for the period between 2017 and 2022, except for Russians and Moroccans, is further concluded with China, Algeria, India, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic, indicating that half of the nationalities come from the Asian continent (Russia, China, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkiye).

However, visa applicants from South America remain some of the most loyal applicants, as they continue to file thousands of visa applications to Spain. Ecuador and the Dominican Republic are the top applicants, ranked sixth and tenth, respectively, with 248,213 and 141,604 applications.

Visa Application Rates Among Top 10 Nationalities Before & After COVID-19 Pandemic

Like Russians, visa applications by Chinese nationals, who are the third nationality with the most requests (783,204), have decreased significantly in post-pandemic years – from 291,637 visa applications in 2019 to 8,201 in 2022, showing a 97.1 per cent decline.

Visa applications from nationalities in the Asian continent have mainly decreased; 4.3 per cent for Saudi Arabia, 24.4 per cent for Turkiye while visa applications from South America also dropped 6.6 per cent for applicants from the Dominican Republic.

However, some nationalities are making a huge comeback on visa applications to Spain, especially compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Visa applications from the United Kingdom have changed significantly – while in 2019 around 29,466 applications were filed, this number rose to 61,005 in 2022, showing that the interest of Brits to visit Spain has soared.

Similarly, visa applications from Ecuadorians have increased compared to 2019 levels – from 56,834 to 58,141,  and from 24,503 in 2019 to 29,297 applications in 2022.