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When it comes to visas, the most welcoming countries in the Schengen area may not be what you think

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PARIS, November 22 — Neither France nor Germany, let alone Italy or Greece, feature in the list of European countries in the Schengen area which grant the most visas to foreign nationals. In fact, Lithuania is the country that offers the best chance of success when it comes to obtaining an entry permit.

Last year, more than 2.4 million short-stay visas were issued by countries in the Schengen area, which includes 22 EU member states and four non-EU countries: Iceland , Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. While all the partners in this area of ​​free movement have agreed on simplifying the crossing of internal borders, each is free to grant visas to international travelers with more or less rigor. According to data provided by the Schengen Area Portal, Lithuania appears to be the most “open” country, with a visa approval rate of 98.7%. For example, 3,481 applications were submitted by Kazakh nationals and 3,090 were accepted. The visa approval rates of the other most welcoming Schengen states are very similar. In fact, this approach finds an echo in other Baltic States. In Estonia (2nd), the visa approval rate was 98.4% in 2021 and, unsurprisingly, it was mainly Russian travelers who applied for a visa there. Latvia comes seventh on the list, with an approval rating of 97.9%.

Note that Iceland (4th) – which is not an EU member state but is a member of the Schengen agreement – is also a good option for foreign travelers looking to enter the zone. The country issues visas with no great reservations, it seems, since out of a total of 2,735 applications, 2,410 were granted in 2021. The other most welcoming countries are Finland (3rd), Luxembourg (5th ), Slovakia (6th) and the Czech Republic. Republic (VIII).

However, the most welcoming countries in the Schengen area are not necessarily those which receive the most visa applications. For the year 2020, according to data from the official website of the European Union, most requests were made to France (658,000), Germany (412,000), Spain (340,000) and Spain (340,000). Italy (294,000). Russian, Turkish, Chinese, Moroccan and Indian nationals were the main applicants.

It should be noted that these figures concern visa applications and not asylum applications. On this point, the European Union specifies that the most numerous requests were made to Germany (148,200), France (103,800), Spain (62,100) and Italy (43,900), still for the year 2021. — ETX Studio

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