A number of 23,400 Albanian citizens were denied entry into the Schengen Zone last year, out of a total 471,200 non-EU travelers who were turned back at a Schengen port of entry.
According to data published by Eurostat, almost half of the rejections for Albanian travelers were made at the border with Greece. 11,075 that attempted to enter Greece were turned back. The second country with the highest rate of rejected Albanian travelers is Croatia, with 2,670 rejections, followed by the United Kingdom with 1,455 rejections and France with 1,450.
Albanian passport holders can travel visa-free to the Schengen area since 2011, when the then government of Albania reached the much sought after visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen countries.
Only recently, the European Commission had evaluated a request by the Dutch Government to suspend the visa free regime for Albania. According to this request, “Albanian nationals play a significant role in organized crime in the Netherlands, and there is an increasing number of illegal migrants from Albania, with the number of asylum applications from Albanian nationals is also steadily high.”
However, the European Commission dismissed this request after a careful evaluation, concluding that there are not enough reasons to suspend the visa-free regime for Albania.
According to statistics published by Eurostat, last year 602,000 EU nationals were found illegally residing in another EU member country. On the other hand, 480,000 persons received an order to leave an EU country, 198,000 out of which left the country that gave the order. 158,000 of them left the EU, while the rest remained within the union.
As for the number of persons from non-EU countries rejected from entering the territory visa-free, almost half of them were from Spain, 230,500, followed by France, 70,400.