Armenia reports an increase in Schengen visa applicants
A total of 57,787 visa applications were submitted to the embassies of the Schengen area countries in 2015, and 7,105 of them were rejected – Stepan Grigoryan, the Head of the Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) reported when presenting the monitoring results of the EU-Armenia Visa Facilitation Agreement.
According to Grigoryan, the number of visa applications has increased considerably when compared with previous years, due to Armenia concluding their Visa Facilitation Agreement with the EU in 2012. Since the document took effect, the number of visa rejections has also increased: 8% of applicants were rejected Schengen visas in 2012 and more than 12% in 2015.
Stepan Grigoryan noted that most of the Armenian citizens are refused a visa because they fail to submit all the necessary documents to the embassy: “When people come to the embassy, they are asked: ‘What’s the purpose of your trip?’ and the would say: ‘Well, my brother is a well- known person there, he is well regarded there.’ But it turns out that they are actually going to a scientific conference. We need to learn how to respect the rules, and produce relevant papers.”
The expert believes that Armenia shouldn’t content itself with the present-day situation. It should follow Georgia’s suit and sign the Visa Liberalization Agreement. Not only will this allow free travel of Armenian citizens across the EU area, but it will also improve the level of democracy in the country and will make for full-fledged functioning of the human rights system.