Where is the easiest country to get a short-stay Schengen Visa?
- In general, Lithuania is the easiest country to obtain a Schengen Visa from, with officials granting 98.7% of applications.
It also receives fewer applications than countries such as Germany or France, as they are extremely popular with tourists and business travellers, meaning a shorter wait for an appointment and less time before hearing if your application has been accepted
- Estonia, which also receives relatively few requests, is the next easiest, granting 98.4 percent of applications.
- Finland is next, with 98.3 percent, but it receives a higher volume of visa requests
- Other countries with comparatively high rates of applications granted are Iceland, Latvia, and Poland.
As for the most difficult, Belgium leads the way with a relatively high 16.9% of applications refused – the highest rate anywhere in the Schengen Area - but this still means that 83.1% of applicants are issued with a Schengen Visa. Next is Malta, with 14.8% refused, followed by Sweden with 10.3%, Portugal on 10.1%, France with 9.6 %, and Norway with a rate of 8.7%. So, if you can plan your trip around traveling to these countries, to maximise your chances of receiving a Schengen Visa, you may want to travel and spend time in a neighbouring nation before entering.
But while a Schengen Visa allows you to travel to any of the 26 Schengen countries within the 90 days a short-stay visa is valid for - you must apply for your visa in the country where you intend to spend the bulk of your trip.
How long does it take to get a Schengen Visa?
The processing time for a Schengen visa is usually around 15 days but can be up to 60 days in certain circumstances - so you should try and leave this amount of time for your application to be processed.
The easiest places to apply for a Schengen Visa from different countries:
I’m applying for a Schengen Visa from India. Which countries are the easiest to apply to?
Indian passport holders are welcome in Europe, with more than 10 million Indians visiting Schengen countries each year - and more than a million tourist visas issued in 2018.
The easiest countries to apply to are as above, although some countries have embassies or consulates that do not issue visas, including Greece, Iceland, Slovenia, and Slovakia. They are represented in these matters by another embassy. You should also check the country you want to travel to has a consulate or visa application center, as some countries may not provide these services in nearby towns or cities.
I’m applying for a Schengen Visa from the Philippines. Which countries are most likely to grant my request?
More than 170,000 Schengen Visa applications were received from the Philippines in 2017, with more than 80% approved.
Many countries, including Belgium, Austria, and France, have outsourced their visa applications process to VFSGlobal, who have centers in Manila and Cebu. Like India, some countries are represented by other countries’ consulates on visa matters. For example, Norway’s embassy represents Finland and Estonia.
I’m applying for a Schengen Visa from the United Arab Emirates. Which countries are most likely to grant my request?
Thanks to a visa waiver agreement, U.A.E. passport holders who have not previously been refused a visa have been able to travel to Schengen Area countries. Those who are non-U.A.E. and non-Schengen nationals living in the country, will need to apply to the relevant consulate, embassy or visa application center in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
Is there anything else I need to know about where to find the easiest Schengen Visa?
If you want to stay in a country in the Schengen Area, you will need to prove you have means of subsistence when applying for your Schengen Visa. This will prove you have the means to support yourself during your stay and are financially able to cope with any costs associated with your visit.
There’s no need to worry too much, as the financial requirements are not too difficult to pass, but they do vary from country to country - with different levels of means of subsistence applying in each Schengen state. As such, some states’ requirements will be easier to meet than others.
Latvia, for example, can require you to only have €14 for each day of your stay, while neighbouring Estonia requires you to have €100 for each day that you stay in the country. Most countries need you to prove you have around €50 per day of your trip - which you can prove by submitting bank statements.
Long-term work visas
Although the requirements for short-stay visas are relatively uniform across the Schengen states, the requirements for long-term work visas vary hugely. Many countries impose strict criteria on who can come to live and work there - requiring applicants to prove they have either high-level qualifications or skills that are needed in their economy. You should check the requirements of your work visa before applying to avoid disappointment.
How can AXA help me obtain my Schengen Visa?
AXA provides low-cost Schengen Visa travel insurance from €20 per week of your trip that meets the €30,000 minimum coverage you need to obtain your visa. This will provide you with coverage for any medical emergencies, as well as repatriation and assistance. More comprehensive coverage is available from AXA from €30 per week. This covers problems such as lost documents or important items. Multi Trip insurance is available from €298 per year - perfect for regular travelers.
Related topics on Schengen visa
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how to obtain the easiest Schengen Visa
How can I get Schengen Visa quickly?
To get a Schengen Visa as quickly as possible - it is best to apply to a country with a low caseload - so not major tourist destinations like France Germany or Italy - and to apply at a time of year when staff will be able to deal with your application quickly - so outside the summer holidays.
Which country in Europe is easiest to get citizenship?
The easiest country to obtain citizenship to - as opposed to a visa for a short trip - is Portugal. Basic language skills and at least five years of residence in Portugal are required to become Portuguese. Sweden and Ireland are other countries with less strict requirements for citizenship.
What is the shortest Schengen Visa?
The short-stay visa is a Schengen Visa. It allows you to stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period - or the length of your trip. It allows you to travel to all countries within the Schengen Area.