A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any Schengen area, which includes 26 countries in Europe, allows stay up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. It is the most common visa for Europe and Singapore is one of the countries with the lowest rate of Schengen visa denials, show new statistics.
A person who has the Schengen visa can freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries, which include -- Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. It should be noted that the Schengen area is the world's largest visa-free zone, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Annual statistics about Schengen visa applications indicate that Schengen is a frequent destination for foreign travellers, as it showed that in 2018 over 14 million people from all around the world, including Singapore citizens, entered the area on a Schengen visa.
As per the calculated data shared by SchengenVisaInfo, 9,692 Singaporeans who were issued a Schengen visa by the French embassy shared 31% of the total number of Schengen visa grants in 2018.
Official statistics showed that Schengen embassies, operating in Singapore, had received a total of 33,133 visa applications and it suggested an increase of 8% in the number of Schengen visa applications compared to the year before statistics.
As per the official details shared with IBTimes Singapore, "Taken overall, Singapore sits among countries where Schengen embassies are more generous. Of the total visa applications being recorded last year, Schengen embassies issued a total of 32,356 visas."
It also mentioned that multiple entry visas which enabled their holders to enter Schengen area more than once for stays up to 90 days under the rule 90/180 days.
As per the visa statistics, France was the most popular destinations among all other Schengen countries in 2018. It was also listed at the top list of the most popular countries for visa applicants in Singapore. In addition, it should be mentioned that the last year the French embassy received 9,983 visa applications of which it approved 9,692.
In terms of other countries, last year, 4,591 citizens of Singapore applied for a Schengen visa at the German embassy and it issued 4,554, while Italian embassy dealt with 3,559 visa applications and it granted 3,464. The Danish embassy, which collected 3,472 visa applications, approved 3,416 of them.
Official numbers also revealed that in 2018, "Schengen embassies in Singapore rejected 533 applicants which accounted for only 1.6% of the total."
"The highest number visa denials were recorded at the French embassy (182) but they only shared 1.8% of all visa application at this embassy. In percentage terms, the embassy of Poland denied the most visa applications (4.7% out of 423)."