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Schengen Visa Fee is Increasing Massively From Next Month

Attention travelers planning trips to Europe! Schengen visa fees are set to rise by 12% beginning June 11, 2024. This decision by the European Commission affects short-stay visas (visa type C), the most common type for tourism and short visits.

Schengen Visa Fees Increase

  • Adult applicants: The fee will increase from €80 to €90.
  • Children (aged 6-12): The fee will go up from €40 to €45.
  • Countries with low readmission cooperation: For applicants from countries that don’t cooperate well with the EU on taking back their citizens who stay illegally, the fee could be even higher – €135 or €180.

Why the Increase?

This adjustment follows the latest review of EU visa fees, conducted in December 2023, as mandated by the Schengen Visa Code, which requires reviews every three years. The increase is due to inflation and the salaries of civil servants within the EU Member States. The last increase occurred in February 2020, when the fee was raised from €60 to €80.

 

Impact on Tourism

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed concerns that higher fees could discourage travel to Europe. They argue that visa costs could impact affordability and reduce tourist numbers, especially when compared to destinations with easier visa regimes. IATA encourages the EU to explore visa-free arrangements and invest in digitalization to streamline the visa application process.

Turkish Citizens’ Discontent

This news comes amidst ongoing discussions between the EU and Türkiye for a visa-free agreement. Turkish citizens, already facing financial burdens during the application process, have voiced their disappointment with the fee increase.

Visa Application Trends

In 2023, Schengen Area Member States received over 10.3 million short-stay visa applications, marking a 37% increase from 2022. However, this figure still falls short of the 2019 peak, when approximately 17 million applications were submitted.

Digital Schengen Visa

In a move towards modernization, the European Union is contemplating the introduction of Digital Schengen Visas. This initiative, planned for launch in 2028, will enable applicants to apply for visas online and receive a digital visa instead of the traditional passport sticker.

EU’s Response

In response to such feedback, the EU aims to simplify visa procedures and embrace digitalization to facilitate the visa application process. Despite the fee increase, the EU is striving for a more visa-free regime while balancing the need to cover administrative costs.

The impending increase in Schengen visa fees is a significant development for travelers planning to visit EU countries. While the decision aligns with the EU’s financial needs, it raises concerns about its potential impact on tourism and the accessibility of travel for many, especially those from non-EU countries.

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