Schengen Visa gets expensive by 12% after European Union increases fee

Schengen Visa

Are you planning a trip to Europe? If your answer is yes, then you will be angry to know that Europe is going to increase their application fees. European Commission approved 12 percent in Schengen visa fees. This fee will be applicable worldwide from June 11, 2024.

Right now, Europe is dealing with less tourism hike in their country. This step comes at the same time when Europe is trying to promote tourism in their region.

According to some reports, civil servants were unhappy due to this hike. To justify this, the European Commission cites inflation and the rise in salaries of civil servants. Before 2024, Europe’s visa fee increased in February 2020.

This unexpected news comes after a review of European Union Visa fees. It happened in December 2023, which occurs every three years as an agreement by the Schengen Visa Code.

The existing visa application fee of €80 (₹7,242) for adult travelers will be increased to €90 (₹8,149). Minors will see a fee increase from €40 (₹3,622) to €45 (₹4,074). The new rates go into effect on June 11, 2024.

Citizens of non-European nations such as South Africa, China, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka must get Schengen visas, whereas nationals of the United Kingdom, Canada, America, and Australia are exempt.

The Schengen area includes 29 European Countries. This offers free visa travel for short stays to holders of Schengen visas. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and France. They also offer it to Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Malta. Some other countries are the Netherlands, Norway (not officially Schengen Area but applies regulations), Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Shocking Decision for Some

People are also disappointed by this decision. Specially, Turkish Citizens who waited long a visa-free travel agreement with the EU. 

In the year 2023, Schengen region got over 10.3 million short-stay visa applications. This reflects a 37 percent year-on-year rise. But, this is still below the pre-pandemic peak of 17 million applications they got in 2019.

India got third place related to visa applications for Europe, with a total of 9,66,687 submissions.

This increase in fees comes at the same time when Europe wants tourists from worldwide. On April 18, 2024, the European Commission came up with new visa rules for Indian citizens living in India, known as the “Visa cascade.” It improved access to multi-entry visas, agreed to a positive visa history, and allowed for a five-year visa.

Why do you want a Schengen Visa?

If you are going to the Schengen Area from a country where there is no visa-free travel agreement, you may have to apply for a Schengen visa. There are four main Schengen Visa types. They are A, B, C, and D available. From these, the most common and known kind of Schengen Visa, known as a Uniform Schengen Visa, includes kinds A, B, and C. It allows you to visit any Schengen Zone country once every six months for up to 90 days. It also gives you access to your airport transit visa. You will need this visa for a short time.

Indian Travelers Showing Interest in Europe

There was a huge increase in Indian interest in Europe, as seen by the 43% rise in Schengen visa applications in 2023 over 2022. With 966,687 visa applications, India came in third place. The EU has introduced an immigration program known as “cascade” for Indian nationals wanting Schengen permits. 

The EU recently took a step to sign a change from the old rules about Indian nationals’ visa codes. Indian passport holders are now eligible for long-term multiple-entry Schengen visas. This eligibility is only for two or five years, provided they have traveled with a Schengen visa before. 

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