Malta has the highest visa applications rejection rate amongst all Schengen area countries, despite being one of the countries with the lowest number of applications received, data issued on Tuesday shows.

Maltese authorities in charge of processing visa applications turned down 20.4% of the 32,331 applications received last year. In addition, only 30.5% of the approved applications were granted with a multiple-entry visa.

Yet, this was the lowest rejection rate for Malta in the last years. In 2015, Malta rejected 25.2% of the applications, 21.1% in 2016, and 25.2% in 2017.

In 2018, the second and third countries with high rejection rates were Belgium with a rejection rate of 16.8% and Portugal with 16.6% of the applications denied.

Former Soviet countries part of Schengen had the lowest rejection rates with Lithuania leading the table in this regard. Only 1.3% of the applications for a Schengen visa to Lithuania and 1.6% to Estonia were rejected. Finland and Iceland had both a low rejection rate of only 1.7%.

The countries with the highest rates of rejected applications filed by their nationals and citizens were Nigeria at 49.8%, Iraq, 47.8%, Guinea, 46.8%, Democratic Republic of Congo, 46% and Algeria, 45.5%.