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The number of South Africans applying for Portuguese visas shot up by 52% to 8 840 in 2017, making it the fastest growing Schengen country last year, according to statistics released by SchengenVisaInfo.com

Denmark was a close second, at 50% growth with 3 787 applications. The remainder of the top five fastest growing Schengen destinations from South Africa were Austria, up 37% to 7 566 applications; the Czech Republic, up 33% to 3 700 applications; and Finland, up 32% to 1 250 applications.

Italy was the destination with most visa applications in 2017, coming in at 39 934 (19% of all SA Schengen visa applications); followed by France, 34 071; Germany, 31 625; Spain, 21 784; The Netherlands, 18 386; and Greece with 10 998. These six countries made up over 80% of all SA Schengen visa applications.

The top six countries experienced the following growth: Italy up 18%, France 13%, Germany 10%, Spain 31%, The Netherlands 21%, and Greece 24%.



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