Despite a notable decline in the number of visa applications from Chinese nationals in 2021, they have still secured the top position for Schengen visa applications at German consulates between 2018 and 2022. During this period, Chinese nationals submitted a total of 927,604 applications, surpassing Turkish nationals who came in second with 882,903 applications.
In 2018, Chinese nationals recorded the highest number of visa applications with 437,462 submissions. However, in the subsequent years, these figures decreased, reaching one of the lowest points in 2021 when only 4,973 applications were filed.
The fluctuation in visa applications from Chinese nationals is closely linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first drop was witnessed in 2019 when the virus first emerged, leading to a 1.29% decrease in application rates. Subsequently, in the following year, the drop was significant, with application rates plummeting by a staggering 90.6%, falling from 431,817 to 40,435.
Despite the challenges that visa applicants from China faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain the leading nationality for the period between 2018 and 2022.
Turkish nationals ranked as the second-largest group of visa applicants during this period and showed a swift rebound after the pandemic. In 2022, Turkish nationals became the primary applicants for German visas, with a total of 223,699 applications, including 126,549 in Istanbul, 32,174 in Izmir, and 64,976 in Ankara.
Data from Schengen Statistics indicates that COVID-19 had a severe impact, especially on nationalities such as the Chinese, who were unable to travel to Germany or other countries due to pandemic-related restrictions.
Russian nationals, the third-largest applicant group, filed 705,208 applications, which is 20.1% less than Turkish applicants. However, Russian applicants also experienced fluctuations in the five-year period, with a significant drop in the number of applications between 2019 (298,870) and 2020 (62,839). Application rates by Russians continued to be affected in 2021, with only 26,962 applications, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, these numbers saw an improvement in 2022, with 48,895 applications.
Indian nationals ranked as the fourth-largest nationality with the most visa applications at German consulates during the five-year period, submitting 463,800 applications across five consulates. The majority of applications from Indian nationals were made in 2019, with 298,870 applications. This number decreased to 30,793 in 2020 and rose to 76,352 in 2022.
While Chinese, Turkish, Russian, and Indian nationals were the top applicants during this period, there were also noteworthy mentions of Egyptian and Saudi Arabian nationals, along with Thai nationals, who had relatively high application rates compared to other nationalities.
By fLEXI tEAM