The statistics published by the European Commission reveal that 15.4 million applications for short-stay visas were lodged at the consulates of the Schengen States in 2015, 7.6% less than in 2014 and declining for the second year in a row. The decrease was driven by almost 40% fewer applications from the Russian Federation, where the devaluation of the currency has dented the demand for travel abroad, even if the 3.5 million visa applications lodged in Russia still made it the top source country for Schengen visa applications. Additional declines of 11% in Ukraine (to 1.2 million applications) and of 14% in Belarus (to 750.000) were only partially compensated by strong growth in applications lodged in China (to 2.4 million, +32%), Turkey (to 900.000, +11%), Algeria (to 735.000, +24%), India (to 710.000, +25%) and Morocco (to 490.000, +14%).
The percentage of applications that were refused varied widely and ranged from less than 1% to 35% or more in some countries (Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guinea, Nigeria). Worldwide, 6.2% of all visa applications were refused, 0.7 percentage points more than in 2014. At the same time, almost half of all visas issued in 2015 allowed for multiple entries into the Schengen area.