Awaiting Easier EU Visa Regime. Fewer Belarusians Apply For Schengen Visas

Schengen visa applications are down by 5% in 2018, as Belarus is hoping for an easier visa regime with the EU, schengenvisainfo reports.

During 2018, Schengen embassies located in Belarus collected a total of 681,106 visa applications. The is 5% fewer compared to the previous year.

Belarus is one of the very few European countries whose residents still need to get a Schengen a visa to enter and travel the EU states.

Meanwhile, Belarus hopes to sign an agreement with the EU counterparts which would significantly ease the visa regime for Belarusians.

According to recent reports, there is still nothing officially taking place, but talks are on a positive track and will soon lead to a deal.

The latest Schengen visa statistics by the EU Commission show that Schengen visa applications in Belarus declined by 5% between 2017 and 2018.

Last year, 681,106 residents of Belarus applied for a Schengen uniform visa, whereas in 2017 Schengen embassies reported 715,433 visa applications.

Most of them were approved. In 2018, 676,984 applicants had been issued a uniform visa, more than 83% of them were multiple entry visas.

On the other hand, the number of Schengen visa denials was relatively small – 2,239 or 0.3%. Out of all Schengen countries Polish embassies received the most visa applications.

Three embassies of Poland in Belarus had collected 278,214 visa applications altogether. In turn, 277,578 applicants had been granted a uniform visa and only 603 were denied one.

Other embassies which dealt with a relatively high number of visa applications were Lithuania, Germany, Latvia and Italy.

As to the American visas, Starting last February, 22,400 people applied for the visas to the U.S. Most of the applicants received them, the official Embassy page on Facebook reports.