Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland received the highest number of applications for visas in 2017 by expat residents
A quarter of all applications for visas at the Italian consulate in Dubai in 2017 were rejected, results from a recently compiled report seen by Arabian Business show.
With 40,558 applications in 2017, Italy receives the highest number of applications among all consulates in the UAE that grant visas for entry into the Schengen Area.
Out of the 33,914 applications filed with the Italian consulate in Dubai last year, 25.3% were rejected. The rejection rate for the 6,644 applications made in Abu Dhabi stood at 17.9%.
Schengen visas allow those carrying them entry into and unrestricted cross border travel for up to 90 days across any of the 26 European countries that are party to the Schengen Area agreement first introduced in 1995.
All but six countries that are part of the EU are part of the Schengen Area, with consulates of each country visas bearing the right to grant visas for entry.
Countries that are part of the Schengen Area are: 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.
The figures on application acceptance and rejection came from a report by SchengenVisaInfo.com, which publishes annual statistics made available by the European Commission. The numbers for the UAE represent applications made by expat residents.
The Schengen Visa is much sought after by applicants from outside the economic zone because of the ease with which it allows entry into and cross border travel across nearly all of the European continent.
In 2017, countries in the Schengen Area processed over 16.1 million applications for entry globally.
Applications from the UAE, 202,232 in 2017, amounted to one percent of the total.
Out of all the countries in the Schengen Area, Hungary and Poland remain the most challenging to receive entry into, with application rejection rates of 49.2% and 30.6% respectively.
Besides Italy, the countries favored most by UAE applicants, in terms of number of applications received, include Germany (29,698), France (36,352) and Switzerland (20,510).
Rejection rates across all three countries averaged 12.5% in 2016 with the majority of successful applicants receiving multiple entry visas.