A line separating land territory or maritime zones of two States or subparts of States. It can also refer to a region that is found at the margin of settled and developed territory.
Statistics published by the European Commission reveal that more than 16.1 million applications for short-stay visas were lodged at the consulates of the Schengen States in 2017, 6.3% more than in 2016 and the first increase in demand since 2013.
The growth was driven by the recovery in applications in the Russian Federation, which increased by more than 22% to 3.9 million, reinforcing Russia as the top source country for Schengen visa applications. The number of applications lodged in China also returned to its pattern of growth, with 2.5 million applications representing an increase of 15.9% compared to 2016. The number of applications in Turkey remained unchanged at just under 1 million, while solid growth continued in applications lodged in India (920 000, +16.2%), Algeria (780 000, +4.7%), Belarus (720 000, +2.8%), Morocco (610 000, +10.7%), Thailand (300 000, +9.0%) and Iran (260 000, +17.9%). Among the top 10, only Saudi Arabia experienced a decrease in applications (330 000, -3.0%), while the decline in applications lodged in Ukraine (720 000, -48.9%) is explained by the lifting of the visa requirement for holders of Ukrainian biometric passports that entered into force on 11 June 2017.
The percentage of applications that were refused varied widely and ranged from less than 1% to more than 35% in certain countries (Afghanistan, Algeria, Comoros, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Iraq, Nigeria, Senegal, Syria). Worldwide, 8.2% of all visa applications were refused, 1.3 percentage points more than in 2016. More than 59% of all visas issued in 2017 allowed for multiple entries into the Schengen area, a similar figure as 2016.
In addition to the 14.6 million visas issued at consulates, in 2017 the Schengen States also issued 90 000 visas directly at the external borders. The full Schengen visa statistics since 2010 are available online: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy_en#stats