Number of applications for short-term visas to consulates and visa centers of Schengen countries halved in 2017 vs.2016, according to calculations of NGO ‘Europe without Barriers’ based on statistics provided by European Commission.
Ukrainian citizens applied for Schengen visas 720 976 times in 2017 versus 1 411 950 times in previous year according to data provided by European Commission.
Also Ukrainian citizens received 694 349 Schengen visas in consulates of the Schengen States in 2017 that is twice less then in 2016 (1.36 mln).
This year Ukraine took the 6th place by number of Schengen visas received comparing to the third place in 2016 (after Russia and China).
Obviously, rapid decrease in the number of applications is associated with visa-free regime for short-term trips between Ukraine and the EU that came into force on June 11 2017.
Also it was affected by the fact that European consulates stopped issuance of short-term visas for biometric passport owners as well as that Ukrainian citizens have received many long-term multiple entry visas which remained active in 2017.
Might be interesting to compare numbers of Ukraine to the similar ones of Georgia. Georgians applied for Schengen visas 4.5 times less frequently in 2017 versus 2016, although Georgia entered visa-free regime just 2.5 month earlier (23.3k vs. 106k).
At the same both countries faced increase in visa refusal rates – from 3.2% to 3.7% for Ukraine and one and a half times for Georgia – from 12.1% to 18.3%.
Similarly looks the issuance of Bulgarian short-term visas. There were twice as less applications for Bulgarian visas to Bulgarian consulates in Ukraine in 2017: 82 181 times vs. 164 648 times in 2016 while in Georgia – 20 times less frequently (216 applications in 2017 vs. 4680 in 2016). In the meantime, number of applications for short-term visas to Romanian consulates in Ukraine did not fall so dramatically – just from 14 737 to 11 118.
Another possible effect of Ukrainian visa-free regime was a significant decrease in number of Schengen visas issued by Poland. Poland issued 1.063 mln of such visas in 2016 vs. only 789k in 2017.
Total number of applications of citizens from third countries for short-term visas to consulates of the Schengen States increased by 6.3% in 2017 reaching point of 16.1 mln. An increase has been detected for the first time since 2013 and could be explained by resumption of demand in Russia (+22%), as well as rise in India, Morocco, Thailand and Iran offsetting against of decrease in demand in Ukraine and Georgia, according to data provided by European Commission.