Germany is the top destination for Kenyans travelling to European Union countries on a Schengen visa, a new report has shown.
The German Embassy in Nairobi received a total of 6,142 Schengen visa applications last year, out of which 5,136 were approved.
During the same year, the French Embassy received a total of 5,059 visa applications, of which 4,647 were successful. The total number of Kenyans who were issued with Schengen visas to travel to Europe increased by 14 percent in 2018 up from 28,943 in the previous year, according to the report by Schengenvisainfo.com.
Out of 38,503 visa applications received by Schengen embassies in Kenya last year, about 32,996 were issued to Kenyans who were mainly traveling to the Schengen areas as tourists and for business deals.
A Schengen visa is a short-stay permit that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen area, for up to 90 days for tourism or business.
It enables the holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the member countries which include Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France and Germany among other European Union nations. According to the report, the Embassy of Netherlands displaced the Italian Embassy in the fourth position in the list of Schengen embassies that received most visa applications in Kenya.
“During 2018, a number of 4,406 Kenya’s residents applied for a Schengen uniform visa at the Dutch embassy,” says the report. 4,045 of them were granted while the other 280 applications were rejected.
The report further notes that there was also a slight increase in the rate of Multiple Entry Visas (MEV) issued during the period under review.
Of the total Schengen visa grants in Kenya during 2018, 11,360 of them were MEV visas or 34.4 percent. In contrast, during 2018 the number of MEV visa granted was 8,505 or 29.3 percent of the total Schengen visa grants issued during that year. The German government has stopped issuing visas to Kenyans holding the old generation passports as Nairobi races to phase out the old travel document by September 1.
The embassy said Kenyans planning to travel to Germany after June 1 will only get visa appointments after acquiring the e-passport.
, in line with the Schengen laws that demand visas be more than 90 days old.