Number of Kenyans Travelling to Schengen on the RisePosted on 2019-06-27 in: Travel Insurance in Kenya
More and more Kenyans are travelling abroad for various reasons ranging from pleasure, business or study purposes. For travelers to Europe, a Schengen visa is issued if one is traveling to one or more of the 26 states in the Schengen region.
The Schengen visa is a short stay permit that allows its holder to enter and stay in any Schengen state for a period of up to 90 days. A traveller can also be issued with a multiple entry visa (MEV) if he travels to the Schengen region frequently.
Schengen member states are European countries that have abolished border controls and the Schengen visa holder can visit multiple states with one visa. These states include Germany, France, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Denmark among others.
The Shengenvisainfo.com report of 2018 indicates that the number of visas issued to Kenyan travellers rose from 28,943 in 2017 to 33,281 in 2018; a 14% increase. Out of the 38,509 visa applications made in the year 2018, 33,281 visas were issued. The total number of MEV issued in 2018 was 8,505 which accounts for 29.3% of the total Schengen visas issued.
Germany received the highest number of Kenyan travellers who used their Schengen visa. Out of the 6,143 applications, the German embassy issued 5,153 Schengen visas to Kenyans. This implies that for every 6 applicants, 5 were issued Schengen visas. The Embassy of France in Nairobi received 5,060 applications and issued 4,650 visas to Kenyans in 2018. It was closely followed by the Netherlands and Italy embassies whose successful applications totaled to 4,067 and 3,790 respectively.
While applying for a Schengen visa, the applicant must have at least a valid passport and travel insurance that meets the minimum requirements of the state they’re visiting. As the Kenyan government rushes to eliminate the old generation passports by September 2019, Embassies such as the Germany Embassy are also working in accordance with the law and as such will issue Schengen visas to holders of e-passports. It is therefore advisable that an applicant owns an e-passport.
For Kenyans intending to travel to the Schengen region, one ought to check the visa/consular section of the country they intend to travel to so as to get the correct information regarding the visa application process. One can also visit VFS Kenya which is an organization contracted by embassies to process visa applications. BLS Kenya is also another organization that handles the process for select countries e.g. Spain. They’re both located in Westlands, Nairobi.
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Original article appeared in the BusinessDaily newspaper here