By end of 2018, at least 9,427 Rwandans had applied for a Schengen uniform visa, almost 25% more than the preceding year, according to the SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Schengen is an area comprised of the territories of 26 European Union countries whose citizens can move within this zone visa-free.
The area is traditionally known as an attractive hub for foreign visitors every passing year.
Last yea,r Schengen embassies scattered around the globe received over than 16 million uniform visa applications.
Schengen countries are also a popular destination among Rwandans.
During 2018, Schengen embassies located in Rwanda collected a total of 9,427 uniform visa applications.
In contrast, Schengen embassies in Rwanda received a total of 7,567 visa applications during 2017.
This indicates Schengen visa applications in Rwanda have increased significantly by almost a quarter between 2017 and 2018.
But which embassy led the charts in terms of the number of visa applications has collected?
Traditionally, Belgian embassy accounted for the vast majority of visa applications in Rwanda.
Last year, the embassy collected a total of 9,185 uniform visa applications.
This is to say that of the total Schengen visa applications submitted in Rwanda, the Belgian embassy accounted for 97% of them.
The embassy also led in terms of visa approvals; 7,056 uniform visa issued.
Interestingly, Multiple Entry visa, which by definition allows their holders to enter Schengen more than once in accordance with 90/180 rule, shared a small proportion of visa grants.
Only 1,960 or 27.8% of successful applicants were granted an MEV visa last year by the Belgian embassy.
The Germany and France also collected a relatively high number of visa applications.
The former received 121 uniform visa application while the other followed with 118 uniform visa applications.
The statistical report also revealed a small increase in the number of denied visas.
During 2018, Schengen embassies in Rwanda declined 1,725 uniform visa applications, whereas the number of denied visas in 2017 stood at 1,522.
The table below shows the visa applications in 2018 in four Schengen embassies operating in Rwanda
|Schengen Embassy||Uniform Visas Applied For||Uniform Visas Issued||Share of MEV visas||Not Issued Uniform Visas|
The Schengen visa application numbers in Rwanda are likely to expand in the near future because Schengen embassies are now outsourcing private organizations to deal with visa applications.
As a result, visa applicants will face an easier, faster and more efficient visa application process.
In addition, it will save them from fake agencies which have been an issue for Schengen embassies a long time.