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Schengen Visa Fees to be Increased from June 2024

Schengen Visa Fees to be Increased

The Schengen Visa, a vital travel document granting access to over 29 European countries, is set to become more expensive. Effective June 11, 2024, the fees for obtaining this visa will increase by 12%. Schengen Visa Fees to be Increased

Schengen Visa Fees to be  Increased

Updated Schengen Visa Fees

Starting June 11, 2024, applicants will face the following revised fees:

  • Adults: The fee will increase from €80 to €90 (approximately Rs 7,267 to Rs 8,175).
  • Children: The fee will rise from €40 to €45 (approximately Rs 3,633 to Rs 4,087).

Why the Increase?

The European Commission attributes the fee hike to inflation and average civil servant salaries in member states. Despite the increase, the Commission maintains that Schengen visa fees remain relatively low compared to other countries. For context, visa fees for the UK start at €134 (Rs 12,172), the US at around €185 (Rs 16,805), and Australia at €117 (Rs 10,628). Schengen Visa Fees to be Increased

Countries Covered by the Schengen Visa

The Schengen Area comprises most EU member states, excluding Ireland and Cyprus, and includes non-EU countries like Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Romania and Bulgaria are also included for land borders.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa?

Non-EU citizens who are not covered by the EU/Schengen Area’s 90-day rule require a Schengen visa. This includes travelers from countries such as South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and China. The visa allows for tourism or family visits for up to 90 days within a six-month period but does not permit work.

Travelers from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia can visit the Schengen Area visa-free for short stays (up to 90 days within any 180-day period). Longer stays or work visits require different visas from the destination country.

Reason for the Price Increase

Every three years, the European Commission reviews and adjusts Schengen visa fees based on inflation and average civil servant salaries. The current proposal for a 12% increase was made on February 2, 2024, following a December 2023 meeting where member states supported the revision.

External visa service providers are also allowed to increase their fees, with the maximum service fee rising from €40 to €45. The EU is considering even higher fees for countries that do not cooperate with the re-admission of expelled individuals, potentially increasing from €120 to €135 and from €160 to €180.

Impact on Travelers

This fee increase will significantly impact travelers, especially those from countries like China, Turkey, and India. In 2023, 10% of all Schengen visa applications came from these three nations, with a notable 43% increase in applications from India.

New Procedures for Indian Applicants

To accommodate the growing interest in European travel, the European Commission has introduced the ‘Cascade’ procedure for Indian applicants. This new system allows for multi-entry visas and extended validity. Indian residents can now apply for a two-year multi-entry visa after using two visas within the past three years and have the option to apply for a five-year visa, permitting stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period. Additionally, Indian nationals can apply for Digital Schengen visas.

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Preparing for the Fee Increase

Indian nationals and other affected travelers should consider applying for their Schengen visas before the fee increase takes effect. Exploring alternative visa options may also provide more cost-effective solutions. Given the impending fee hike, it’s advisable to plan a budget for European travel and stay informed about any further changes to Schengen visa regulations.

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FAQs: Schengen Visa Fees to be Increased

When will the Schengen visa fee increase take effect?

The new Schengen visa fees will take effect from June 11, 2024. Applicants will need to pay the increased fees for any visa applications submitted on or after this date.

How much will the Schengen visa fees increase by?

The Schengen visa fees will increase by 12%. For adults, the fee will rise from €80 to €90 (approximately Rs 7,267 to Rs 8,175). For children aged 6 to 12, the fee will increase from €40 to €45 (approximately Rs 3,633 to Rs 4,087).

Why are the Schengen visa fees being increased?

The European Commission has cited inflation and average civil servant salaries in member states as the primary reasons for the fee increase. The adjustment is part of a regular review process conducted every three years.

Which countries require a Schengen visa for entry?

The Schengen visa is required for non-EU citizens who wish to visit any of the 29 countries within the Schengen Area, including most EU member states, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. It does not cover Ireland and Cyprus.

Do travelers from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia need a Schengen visa?

No, travelers from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia do not need a Schengen visa for short stays up to 90 days within any 180-day period. However, longer stays or work visits require different visas from the destination country.

How long can one stay in the Schengen Area with a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa allows for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period for purposes such as tourism or family visits. It does not permit work.

What are the new procedures for Indian applicants?

The European Commission has introduced the ‘Cascade’ procedure for Indian applicants. This system allows for multi-entry visas and extended validity. Indian residents can now apply for a two-year multi-entry visa after using two visas within the past three years, and they can also apply for a five-year visa.

Are external visa service providers allowed to increase their fees?

Yes, external visa service providers can also increase their fees. The maximum service fee they can charge will rise from €40 to €45.

What strategies can travelers use to avoid the higher Schengen visa fees?

Travelers can apply for their Schengen visa before the fee increase takes effect on June 11, 2024. Exploring alternative visa options may also provide more cost-effective solutions.

Will there be additional fee increases for certain countries?

The EU is considering higher fees for countries that do not cooperate with the re-admission of expelled individuals. For these countries, visa fees could increase from €120 to €135 and from €160 to €180.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and reflects the latest updates regarding Schengen visa fees as of June 2024. Visa applicants should verify details from official sources and consult with relevant authorities for the most current information.

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