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Croatia Receives 38,511 Visa Applications in First Year as Schengen Member

In its inaugural year as a Schengen state member in 2023, Croatia processed 38,511 visa applications, representing 0.37 percent of the 10.3 million total applications received by all Schengen states. According to Schengen Visa Statistics, Chinese, South African, and Qatari nationals topped the list of visa applicants for the year.

Croatia Receives 38,511 Visa Applications in First Year as Schengen Member

Despite the relatively low number of applications, Croatia’s rejection rate was notably higher than the EU average. While the EU average rejection rate stood at 15.81 percent, Croatia rejected 19.63 percent of visa applications in 2023.

Nearly half (47 percent) of visa requests submitted to Croatia originated from five countries: China (4,447 applications), South Africa (4,141), Qatar (3,274), Kosovo (3,165), and Indonesia (3,099). The approval rate for Chinese applicants was 91.8 percent, and South African applicants saw an 88.7 percent approval rate.

However, Qatari nationals experienced a significantly lower approval rate. Despite being the third-largest nationality group applying for visas to Croatia, only 45.08 percent of Qatari visa applications were approved. Conversely, Croatian authorities approved 86.1 percent of visa applications from Kosovo and 90.1 percent from Indonesia.

Algerians faced the highest rejection rate, with 73.1 percent of their 955 visa applications denied. Moroccans had the second-highest rejection rate at 60.6 percent, with 522 applications rejected compared to 303 approved. Other nationalities with high rejection rates included Egyptians (47 percent), Qataris (46.2 percent), and Iranians (45.2 percent).

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Among third countries with more than 1,000 visa applications approved, the United Kingdom had the highest approval rate at 94.4 percent, followed by Russia at 92.2 percent and China at 91.8 percent. Although UK and US nationals do not need a visa to visit the Schengen Area, foreign nationals residing in these countries who come from third countries without visa liberalization agreements with Schengen states, such as Qatar, must apply for a visa.

This marks Croatia's first year handling visa applications as part of its Schengen membership, reflecting both its new role and the varying success rates of applicants from different nations.



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