Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Some 70,000 visas issued by German embassy annually

Artsyom Shraybman, BelaPAN

The German embassy in Belarus issues around 70,000 visas annually, Florian Schrieverhoff, head of the diplomatic mission`s visa office, told BelaPAN.

"Their number was 67,500 last year and is expected to be some 71,000 to 72,000 this year," he said.

He noted that the number of Schengen visas issued by the German embassy had decreased following the admission of more countries, namely Poland and Lithuania, to the Schengen area a few years ago.

Only 0.46 percent of all visa applications from Belarusians are rejected by the embassy, said Mr. Schrieverhoff. "This is a very tiny share, that`s why I can call on all applicants not to be afraid to apply to the German embassy for a visa as we have no mass visa denials," he said.

Most Belarusian applicants are denied German visas if their names are on Germany`s national blacklist or in the Schengen Information System for staying in the Schengen area illegally or committing an offense, according to the embassy officer. He stressed that not a single person was included in the visa blacklists for life.

"If someone believes that he has been entered on the lists unfairly or for a too long period, this person may apply to the appropriate agency to have the visa ban shortened," said Mr. Schrieverhoff.

Applicants may also be refused a visa if the purpose of their visit appears doubtful to the embassy, he said.