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These Schengen States Have Rejected Most Visas in 2023

In 2023, Schengen states denied over 1.6 million visa applications, representing 15.8 percent of all requests filed. The average rejection rate for uniform visas stood at 16 percent, a decrease from the 17.9 percent recorded in 2022.

These Schengen States Have Rejected Most Visas in 2023

According to data from the EU Commission, France led in rejecting the most Schengen visa requests, with 436,893 applications denied. This translates to a rejection rate of 16.6 percent for visa applications received by France.


The percentage of visa applications refused worldwide saw a slight decline compared to 2022. While 16 percent of all visa applications were refused in 2023, the refusal rate was 17.9 percent in 2022 and 13.4 percent in 2021. The EU Commission noted, “It is common for France to reject most visas every year, which can be attributed to the fact that the country receives the highest number of visa applications.”


Sweden and Belgium have now entered the list of countries with the most rejections, becoming the eighth and ninth countries with higher numbers of turned-down applications, rejecting 60,000 and 38,000 visas respectively. The top countries with the most rejections remain largely unchanged, with France leading (436,000), followed by Spain (251,000), Germany (208,000), Italy (133,000), and the Netherlands (114,000).


These five countries collectively refused 1.1 million visas, accounting for 70 percent of all rejected visas for the year. The top ten list is rounded out by Greece and Switzerland, which rejected 91,000 and 64,000 visas, respectively. Portugal maintained its tenth position with 33,000 rejections.


Compared to 2022, the first four countries with the most applications received—France, Spain, Germany, and Italy—remained the countries that rejected the most visa applications. The Netherlands overtook Greece’s fifth position in the top five. Switzerland and Portugal held their seventh and tenth positions, respectively, while Belgium and Sweden replaced Finland and Austria in the top ten.

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Notably, the Netherlands recorded the highest year-on-year increase in rejected application rates among the top ten countries, with a 61.9 percent jump from 70,000 to 114,000 rejections. Greece followed closely with a 61.5 percent increase. Sweden's rejected applications remained similar to 2022 levels, with a slight increase of 28 applications to 38,000. France, the leading country for both applications and rejections, saw a 6.9 percent increase in the number of rejected applications.


On average, the rejection rates among the top ten countries reached 28 percent in 2022, highlighting the challenging landscape for visa applicants to these Schengen states.



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