Rwandans applying for the Schengen visas increased by a quarter in 2018, compared to the previous year, with the highest appetite being for traveling to Belgium, exclusive statistics show.
“During 2018, a number of 9,427 residents of Rwanda applied for a Schengen uniform visa, almost 25% more than the preceding year,” said Ella Worehead, Communications Manager of Schengen Visa Info center.
Schengen Visa Info is an independent Schengen Visa related information and news publishing websites worldwide.
In 2017, Schengen embassies located in Rwanda collected 7,567 Schengen uniform visa applications in total.
Schengen is an area comprised of the territories of 26 European Union countries whose citizens can move within this zone visa-free but other nationals have to apply for visas before arrival.
The area is traditionally known as an attractive hub for foreign visitors. Last year Schengen embassies scattered around the globe received over 16 million uniform visa applications.
Figures show that Schengen countries are also popular destinations among Rwandan residents.
But which embassy led the charts in terms of the number of visa applications?
Traditionally, the embassy of Belgium is accountable for the vast majority of visa applications in Rwanda.
Last year, they collected a total of 9,185 uniform visa applications. This is to say that of the total Schengen visa applications submitted in Rwanda, the embassy of Belgium accounted for 97% of them.
The embassy of Belgium also led in terms of visa approvals where 7,056 applicants at this embassy were issued a uniform visa.
Interestingly, Multiple Entry Visa (MEV) which by definition allow their holders to enter Schengen more than once in accordance with 90/180 rule, shared a small proportion of visa grants.
Only 1,960 (27.8%) of successful applicants were granted as MEV last year in the Belgium embassy.
MEV visa gives you the right to enter in the Schengen Zone as many times as you want, as long as you do not remain more than 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry.
The embassy of Germany and France also collected a relatively high number of visa applications. The former received 121 uniform visa application while the other followed with 118 uniform visa applications.
The statistical report also revealed an increase in the number of denied visas. During 2018, Schengen embassies in Rwanda declined 1,725 uniform visa applications compared to 1,522 applications in 2017.
The Schengen visa application numbers in Rwanda are likely to expand in the near future because Schengen embassies are now outsourcing private organizations to deal with visa applications.
In January the Belgian embassy in Rwanda commissioned VFS Global – a private company to manage Schengen visa application procedures, to reduce the risk of conmen preying on Rwandan applicants, and logistical gaps when embassy handled the process.
“We have been working with Rwanda police on this problem of conmen, some have been arrested but we want to make it clear that it’s only VFS Global that can handle visa application now. Anyone who deals with another person is at own risk,” Solange Kassianoff, the Belgian Consul in Rwanda said then.
As a result, visa applicants will face an easier, faster and more efficient visa application process. In addition, it will save them from fake agencies which have been an issue for Schengen embassies a long time.
More regarding the statistics https://statistics.schengenvisainfo.com