Analysis of the Hungarian Visa System with regard to Moldova, Russia and Ukraine

TitleAnalysis of the Hungarian Visa System with regard to Moldova, Russia and Ukraine
Publication TypeRiport / Report
Év / Year2009
AuthorsMolnár, Tamás, Illés Sándor, and Melegh Attila
Publikálás dátuma / Date Published06/2009
InstitutionMagyar Európa Társaság
Város / CityBudapest
Kulcsszavak / KeywordsBelarus, eastern europe, eu, Migration, rejection, Serbia, Shengen, Ukraine, visa
Full Text

The volume of movement across the Hungarian border has been growing since 2004. 36.1 million foreigners crossed the Hungarian border in 2004. The respective figures were 38.6 million in 2005, 41 million in 2006 and 42.5 million in 2007. We could state that the emerging trend was constant, but in relative terms the rate of growth diminished in the last year under investigation. The official numbers of visas issued were as follows: 264 thousand in 2002, 425 thousand in 2003, 757 thousand in 2004, 695 thousand in 2005, 640 thousand in 2006 and 502 thousand in 2007. In 2008, the total number of issued short-term (Schengen) visas was 317,519. The “top three countries” where Hungary issues the highest numbers of visas are Serbia, Ukraine and Russia.

According to the time series depicted above, we can state that the number of visas issued had been growing until 2004. In that year the volume reached the peak. After that, a trend of slow decrease began. The recent decline may be due to several reasons: already issued Schengen visas allow multiple entries (valid for one year or more); due to the principle of main destination visas are applied for in another country (transiting persons are lost); special cards for relatives have been introduced; the fee has been raised. From 2008 that declining trend has been accelerating due to the newly functioning Schengen visa system in Hungary. As for Hungary, the rejection rate of “A”, “B”, and “C” types of visas (short-term visas) applied for at consulates in the world was 1.8% in 2007, while the rejection rate of “C” visas only applied for at consulates in the world was 1.9% in 2007.

According to the data of the Office of Immigration and Naturalization1 , the rejection rate of “C” visas (requested at the border) was 40.5% and the rejection rate of “D” (long-term) visas was 6.3% in 2007. It was possible to compute the total rejection rate, too. The original data was provided by two authorities (consulates and the Office of Immigration and Naturalization). This overall value was 2.4% in 2007. According to those data in 2008, the rejection rate of “C” type visas applied for at consulates was 3.6%. The equivalent indicator in 2007 was only 2.7%. It is to be noted that rejection rates varied highly with authorities in 2007. The consulates were more liberal than the Office of Immigration and Naturalization. In the light of the visa statistics for 2008, this phenomenon did not change