The European Union has denied allegations of Schengen visa restrictions for citizens of Türkiye following reports on long waiting times and processing delays.
According to the EU Ambassador to Türkiye, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, the authorities do not use any policy aimed at preventing the issuance of Schengen visas to Turkish citizens.
As per the long waiting times as well as the visa processing delays, the ambassador said that they are working to solve the problem, suggesting that this is happening mainly due to the high demand, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“We are doing our best to solve this problem, but first of all, it should be well known that the EU does not have any policy to prevent the issuance of visas to Turkish citizens,” the statement of the ambassador reads.
Turkish citizens have been facing Schengen visa delays and long waiting times for available time slots since the Schengen countries started accepting applications as per usual when the Coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
For this reason, they are now opting for alternative holiday destinations other than those in the EU/Schengen Area.
Instead of going through the Schengen visa procedure in order to be able to travel to the bloc, tour operators in Türkiye have said that the citizens of the country are currently preferring visa-free destinations.
Such a thing has raised concerns among them as they have no choice but to cancel groups if the visa of some travellers gets rejected or delayed more than usual.
Despite the Schengen visa problems that Turkish citizens have been dealing with for years now, Türkiye is the largest source of Schengen visa applications, with its citizens filing over 700,000 applications in 2022.
Recent data published by Schengen Visa Statistics show that the number of Schengen visa applications filed by Turkish citizens in 2022 surpassed the number of those filed by Russian citizens.
Nonetheless, the number of visa applications filed last year still remained significantly below the pre-pandemic level (55 per cent) when Turkish citizens filed a total of 16,955,541 Schengen visa applications.
As for the number of applications that have been filed in the country, it has been shown that the highest number was filed at the consulates, embassies, and visa centres of Germany (223,699), followed by Greece (164,829) and France (115114).
For as long as Türkiye does not reach any agreement with the EU on visa-free travel, all its citizens will continue to be required to obtain a Schengen Visa.
Depending on the reason for travel to the EU, Turkish citizens are required to apply for a different type of visa. Those wishing to enter the bloc for travel purposes need to apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa.
Source: Schengen Visa News