Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic is the most popular Schengen visa among Visegrad Group countries, according to newly released data from Schengen Visa Info.
Czech Republic is top Schengen visa destination in Central Europe
In 2018, Czech consulates around the world received nearly 663,000 short-term Schengen visa applications, accounting for the vast majority of the overall 722,000 visa applications to the Czech Republic last year.
A little more than 31,000 of these applications were denied by the Czech Republic‘s consular authorities.
The Czech consulates in Moscow (209,000), Beijing (67,000), Lviv (67,000), Kiev (53,0000), Shanghai (36,000) and New Delhi (27,000) are those that delivered by far the largest number of Schengen visas, which allow to travel freely for a period of up to 90 days in 26 European countries.
Poland is second most popular Schengen visa in CEE region
These figures by far exceed those reported in other Central European countries: Poland, the second most popular destination in Central and Eastern Europe as a whole, received around 518,000 applications last year.
Most of them came from either Russia, Belarus or Ukraine, as the Polish consulates that received the highest numbers of Schengen visa applications were located in Minsk (144,000), Kaliningrad (80,000), Brest (74,000), Grodno (60,000) and Moscow (40,000).
Poland is however the EU’s main provider of first-time residence permits for third-country nationals in the bloc, far ahead of its Visegrad neighbours.
Hungary and Slovakia receive over 250,000 short-term visa applications
Hungary meanwhile received a total of 229,000 Schengen visa applications in 2018, most notably from its consulates in Moscow (48,000), Istanbul (20,000), Beijing (17,000), Almaty (12,000) and Mumbai (12,000).
With 27,000 short-term visa applications received in 2018, Slovakia comes fourth. The busiest Slovak consulates were those in Moscow (7,000), Minsk (4,000), St. Petersburg (2,000), Beijing (1,600) and Tehran (1,400).
Overall, France remains the top most popular Schengen country when it comes to visa applications from third-country nationals (over 4 million in 2018), followed by Germany (over 2 million), Italy (1.8 million) and Spain (1.7 million).