Chinese & South Africans Show Great Interest in Visiting Croatia in Its 1st Year of Schengen Membership

As part of becoming a Schengen state member in 2023, Croatia has for the first time started receiving visa applications. In its first year, Croatia received 38,511 visa requests, which is 0.37 per cent of all 10.3 million received by Schengen states.

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According to data by Schengen Visa Statistics, Chinese, South African and Qatari nationals were the top visa applicants for the year, Schengen.News reports.

While application rates were low, Croatia’s rejection rates stood out as being higher than the EU average. The EU average of rejected applications was 15.81 per cent, while Croatia rejected 19.63 per cent of visa applications in 2023.

Top 5 Schengen Visa Applicants to Croatia

Nearly half (47 per cent) of visa requests filed to Croatia in 2023, originated from five countries alone. The top five countries of origin for visa applicants to Croatia are as follows:

  1. China (4,447 visa applications)
  2. South Africa (4,141)
  3. Qatar (3,274)
  4. Kosovo (3,165)
  5. Indonesia (3,099)

In total, 91.8 per cent of visa applications from China were approved, compared to 88.7 per cent of visa requests from South Africa that were granted a positive decision.

However, that is not the case with Qatari nationals, who were some of the nationality groups that were issued visas the least. Although they had some of the highest application rates, ranking as the third-largest nationality group to file most visas to Croatia, only 45.08 per cent of visas filed by Qatari nationals were approved.

Croatian authorities approved 86.1 per cent of visa applications filed by Kosovars as well as 90.1 per cent of visa requests from Indonesian applicants.

Algerians Were Most Rejected Visa Applicants to Croatia in 2023

The rejection rate for Algerian visa applicants was the highest out of all – 73.1 per cent of visa requests were denied. This means that out of 955 applications, 98 were rejected. Moroccans follow second with a rejection rate of 60.6 per cent and 522 visas rejected – compared to 303 approved.

Egyptians, Qataris and Iranians conclude the list of five nationalities with the highest rejection rates. Nearly half (47 per cent) of visa requests from Egyptians were rejected, as were 46.2 per cent of visa applications from Qatar and 45.2 per cent of requests submitted by Iranians.

As per countries with the highest approval rates, among third countries with more than 1,000 visa applications approved, the United Kingdom has the highest rates. Out of 1,548 visa applications from the UK, 94.4 per cent were approved. Russia follows second with 92.2 per cent of visas approved and China has an approval rate of 91.8 per cent.

Although countries like the UK and the US do not need a visa to visit the Schengen Area, foreign nationals who live in these countries and who come from third countries that do not have visa liberalisation with Schengen states, such as Qatar, must apply for a visa.