Schengen visa policies are standardized, meaning that they should not vary in terms of requirements. This could lead to the impression that it doesn’t really matter where you apply for a Schengen visa.
However, even if the requirements are largely the same, rejection rates are broadly different depending on the countries you are planning on visiting. With this fact in mind, our strategy for getting a Schengen visa application approved may need some refinements.
One common Schengen visa advice consists of looking for ways to apply to one of the countries with the lowest rejection rates. Still, this should not be our only concern when we look for options. Every situation is different, and the probability of getting your visa approved could be greater or lesser depending on your specific circumstance.
Also, you ought to consider your traveling preferences. For example, you’d probably wish to visit cities with pleasant weather or accessible public transportation alternatives, in which case you’d rather take your chances even if the rejection rate turns out significantly higher. Anyhow, if you are not picky about the places you visit, we can point you to the countries that are the most likely to give you the green light.
Before moving onward, it must be stressed that if you envision visiting various countries, you’re not free to choose just about any Embassy or Consulate. The criteria for determining the competent Consular Authority to lodge your application at is either the primary destination (the country wherein you’ll spend most of your stay) or the first country you’ll enter if the stay is equally distributed between destinations.
With that in mind, you could arrange your itinerary accordingly if you are aiming to do a European tour so that the country that’ll ultimately receive your application is the one with the least odds of rejection. Not only that, but you could also fast-track your visa application process this way since many of these countries don’t receive as many visa requests on a yearly basis.
Without further ado, below you’ll find our list of the 7 easiest countries to apply for a Schengen visa:
Iceland is a nice surprise on this list. Known for being one of the countries with the highest quality of life and for being home to some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, it likewise sits in the ranking of the top 7 easiest countries to apply for a Schengen visa. A Schengen visa application in an Iceland Consulate has currently a 96 percent approval chance.
On the flip side, Iceland is also deemed as one of the most expensive countries for road trips, so you should keep that in mind.
Finland is even more accessible than Iceland and receives, on record, a higher number of applications. It comes close to Iceland in terms of costs too, but it’s relatively cheaper and has some amazing sights to behold.
In 2020, Finland declined roughly 3.7 percent of visa applications, with a corresponding 96.3 percent approval rate, making it a great option if you have the financial means.
The Baltic states are very underrated in terms of touristic appeal, which is surprising considering how important tourism is for these countries. Latvia is one of these great underrated gems.
Riga, its capital, shows very compelling sceneries throughout its Town Hall Square and the Art Nouveau District. Outside of Riga, the country also graces visitors with various sites of historical interest, such as Old Sigulda Castle.
Latvia in 2020 became the third easiest country in terms of Schengen visa applications, with only 2.7 percent of petitions denied, though the next year it was not even in the top four, falling behind the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Luxembourg.
Prague is regarded by many as the most beautiful city in the world, and rightfully so. The cityscape combines the most iconic architectural styles with a dreamy color palette to boot.
Traditionally, the Czech Republic has been relatively easy on tourists, not only due to its surprisingly affordable prices but also due to its lax visa approval policies, yet it wasn’t as accessible as other countries within this list, at least until last year when approval rate soared to a whopping 96.7 percent.
Lithuania is yet another relatively inexpensive Baltic country that’s home to some incredible sites such as Vilnius Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Trakai (a 13th-century complex turned into a resort).
Lithuania has been, historically speaking, the easiest country to apply for a Schengen visa with a measly 1.3 percent rejection rate in 2018, but fell third on the list in 2021, below Slovakia and Luxembourg.
Slovakia is another great and underrated place to visit, thanks to its majestic Slovak Paradise National Park and the Open-Air Museums, among other attractions.
Slovakia (at one point in time united with the Czech Republic) doesn’t get lots of applications. In fact, it’s the third country with the least number of applications received, meaning that the process should go smoothly and with fewer waiting periods.
In 2021, Slovakia only rejected 2.7 percent of applications, a great decline from the previous year’s 4 percent.
Luxembourg is not a destination for everyone. In 2020, it ranked 5th in the list of most expensive countries to live in, let alone travel in. It has also traditionally received few Schengen visa requests.
In 2021, Luxembourg topped the list of countries with the lowest Schengen visa refusals, with a rejection rate barely above 1 percent (1.2 percent, to be exact), which is even lower than Lithuania’s historical numbers.
While this metric could be misleading when taken in proportion to the number of applications filed, we should also be mindful that fewer applications translate into a faster response from authorities, as the system is less clogged. In summary, Luxembourg is a very convenient gateway to the Schengen area (if you can afford the stay).
While those rejection rates we mentioned above are very encouraging, you should not feel overly confident breezing through your appointment without making sure you check all the boxes. Even though these countries have a tendency of being lenient with tourists, this doesn’t mean they don’t review the documentation you provide to make sure you fulfill the eligibility criteria.