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High Schengen visa rejection rates persist due to difficulties in proving genuine intentions, economic instability, and demonstrating the intent for temporary visits.

Strengthening economic ties and connections to the home country could help reduce rejection rates.

Due to stricter visa policies and checks by the European Union, the number of Nigerians rejected for Schengen visa applications increased by 9.97% to 42,940 in 2023 from 39,189 in 2022.

This made Nigeria the African country with the fourth-highest number of rejections. The cost of rejected visas from Nigeria rose to €3.44 million last year from €3.14 million in 2022, BusinessDay reported.

Read also: Nigeria loses €3.4 million from Schengen visa rejections 

According to The Africa Wealth Report, African visa applicants face stricter restrictions, leading to a 30% rejection rate in 2022, despite having the lowest applications per capita.

This rate is 12.5% higher than the global average. African Schengen visa rejection rates are 10% higher than the global average, three times higher than the highest rejection rate, and ten times higher than for US-Americans.

The report highlighted that African countries account for seven of the top ten countries in the world with the highest Schengen visa rejection rates, Also access to Schengen visas correlates with the economic and passport strength of the applicant’s country.

Read also: Top 10 countries with the highest Schengen visa rejection rates

Poorer African countries with low gross national income and low Henley Passport Index rankings face higher rejection rates. Visa requirements within Africa and limited global visa access further hinder African applicants’ chances of obtaining Schengen visas. 

According to Henley and Partners, here are the top 5 countries in Africa with the highest Schengen visa rejection rates

Algeria

Algeria tops the list with the highest Schengen visa rejection rate. Out of approximately 392,000 applications, around 179,000 were rejected, resulting in a rejection rate of 45.8%.

Nearly half of the Algerian applicants face rejection, reflecting a complex interplay of factors. The large volume of applications from Algeria may contribute to the high rejection rate, as consular offices might be overwhelmed, leading to stricter scrutiny of each application.

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau, despite its relatively small number of applicants, has a rejection rate just slightly lower than Algeria’s. With nearly 8,000 applications, over 3,600 were denied, resulting in a rejection rate of 45.2%.

The high rejection rate could be attributed to the country’s political instability, economic challenges, and poor diplomatic ties with Schengen countries. The lack of proper documentation, inadequate financial proof, and concerns about the intentions of the applicants also play a critical role in the high denial rate. 

Read also: Japa: 10 common reasons for Schengen visa rejection in 2024

Nigeria

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has a substantial number of visa applications, reflecting the high demand for travel to the Schengen Area. With nearly 87,000 applications, more than 39,000 were rejected, leading to a rejection rate of 45.1%.

Several factors contribute to this, including concerns about fraudulent documentation, financial instability, and a significant number of Nigerians overstaying their visas or working illegally in Europe. These issues prompt visa officers to be particularly cautious, leading to a high rejection rate.

Ghana

Ghana’s rejection rate of 43.6% indicates significant challenges for its citizens in securing Schengen visas. Out of approximately 42,000 applications, more than 18,000 were rejected.

While Ghana is known for its relative political stability and economic progress compared to some of its neighbors, applicants often face rejections due to inadequate financial documentation, insufficient ties to the home country, and doubts about the purpose of travel. 

Senegal

Senegal rounds out the top five with a rejection rate of 41.6%. Out of nearly 57,000 applications, over 23,000 were denied.

Similar to other countries on this list, Senegalese applicants often struggle with providing convincing proof of their intentions to return home after their visit. The economic conditions and the prevalence of illegal immigration cases from Senegal also influence the high rejection rate. By , Business Day 

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