Turkish Citizens Have Paid At Least €3,6 Million for Rejected Schengen Visas Last Year

Turkish nationals have paid a least €3,601,280 last year in fees for Schengen Visas that they never received. Due to an expected increase in the number of applications filed in Türkiye, the money paid for visa applications that have been and will be rejected in 2022 will be quite higher.

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Tuba Yilmaz, a 34-year-old elementary teacher, says that her Germany Schengen visa application has been rejected twice this year, in 2022, which has resulted in her losing €160 in visa fees only.

I applied in January for a Schengen Visa because I wanted to visit my sister who lives in Germany with her husband and their two kids. My application was rejected because they thought I wouldn’t return home. I have two young sons, I have a husband, I have a job, and I have a home here. I have all reasons to return to Türkiye, and none to stay there for longer than a family visit,” she says.

She further notes that she was planning to stay in Germany for only about ten days, and since she wanted to see her sister, she tried her luck again and made an appointment for a Germany Schengen Visa in July.

I submitted more documents to prove that I had no intention to remain in Germany, but my application was rejected again. In total, I lost €160 in visa fees and almost €100 in fees paid at the visa application centre for the processing of documents and passport return,” she says.

A total of 45,016 Schengen visa applications filed at the Schengen embassies, consulates, and visa centres in Türkiye were rejected in 2021, out of the total 271,977 submitted, the fee for each of which is €80 and non-refundable.

According to the Schengen visa code, fees for rejected visas are not refunded, which means that at the time the applicant is lodging a Schengen visa application, the same is agreeing that their money will not be returned in case they receive a negative answer.

Data by Schengen Visa Statistics show that the countries that rejected the majority of visa applications filed in Turkey are as follows:

  • Germany – 20,807
  • France – 5,929
  • Netherlands – 3,885
  • Greece 3,777
  • Italy – 1,494
  • Spain – 1,274
  • Estonia 1,102
  • Switzerland – 913

The rates of Schengen visa applications rejected in Türkiye have spiked up in recent years, from 6.4 per cent in 2017 to 8.4 per cent in 2018, 9.6 per cent in 2019, 12.5 per cent in 2020, and as high as 16.5 per cent in 2021.

The Turkish side has accused the EU of “playing games”, while the EU Ambassador to Türkiye Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut says that the increase in visa rejection rates isn’t political or exclusive to Turkish citizens.

Data show that the rejection rates for Schengen visa applications have indeed increased worldwide, from 5.1 per cent in 2014, to 6.2 per cent in 2015, 6.9 per cent in 2016, 8.2 per cent in 2017, 9.6 per cent in 2018, 9.9 per cent in 2019, 13.6 per cent in 2020, and 13.4 per cent in 2021.