The Association of Tour Operators of Russia reported that experts had identified the difficulties Turkish and Moroccan tourists face when obtaining a Schengen visa, and what Russians can expect in this area.
Unofficial statistics show that every third applicant from Turkey is denied a Schengen visa. This is twice as much as before. In 2021, 16.5% of Turks who applied for a Schengen visa failed to obtain one, while in 2020 the figure was 12.5%.
As for Russia, the Schengen visa refusal rate was 3.1% in 2021, 2.55% in 2020 and 1.49% in 2019.
The cost of a Schengen visa in Turkey is about 100 euros, or a third of the minimum wage. Turkish media have reported that Turks are waiting periods of time to submit the necessary documents to obtain an entry visa to the European Union for a period of two to four months.
The Turkish government believes that the reason for the long processing times and the growing number of refusals is due to “hidden sanctions” from the European Union. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his ministry would alert the ambassadors of several Western countries about the situation in September next year, adding that if the situation does not change, Turkey will impose retaliatory restrictions.
The experts stated that a similar approach to visas is observed in Morocco. In 2021, the population of this country submitted 157,000 applications to European embassies, of which European countries rejected about 28%. In August, two public organizations announced that a lawsuit would be filed in European courts on this issue.
As for Russia, according to experts, it may be subject to “hidden” visa sanctions. They indicated that the easiest option for these sanctions is to increase the number of refusals, extend the terms for issuing visas, and reduce the number of deadlines for submitting documents for obtaining them. In one of the European diplomatic missions, it was unofficially explained that the issuance of entry visas is still ongoing, but one should forget about simply obtaining them.
Source: RIA Novosti