The European Commission (EC) has suggested a 12% hike in the standard charge for acquiring a Schengen visa. This implies that the fee would rise from 80 to 90 euros for adults, and from 40 to 45 euros for children.
If the proposal receives approval, there could be a rise in visa fees within this year. It has been reported that the European Commission has published the initiative on their official website, allowing European Union citizens to provide input and engage in discussions until March 1, 2024.
Countries that have not yet established a simplified visa agreement with the European Union (EU) will be impacted by the proposed changes. Additionally, the maximum service fees charged by external service providers will be affected. If the visa cost rises to 90 euros, the service fee will also increase from 40 to 45 euros.
If the proposal is approved, the citizens of the countries that have not yet reached an agreement on a simplified visa regime with the EU will be required to pay 135 euros for a visa, instead of the current 120 euros. This new fee includes a visa fee of 80 euros and a service fee of 40 euros. The cost of extending a visa will remain at 30 euros, but this service is not available in some countries, such as Russia.
According to the provisions, the EU Commission will have the authority to review visa fees every three years, considering factors such as inflation in the EU and the average salaries of civil servants.
The European Commission is considering making visa fees changes this year, believing them to be necessary. If the European Union citizens support the proposal, the Commission might implement the regulation, which would become effective 20 days after being published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Consequently, there is a possibility that fees for obtaining a Schengen visa could be raised even before the start of the 2024 summer season.
SOURCE: Europe Travel Gets Pricier With New Schengen Visa Fee Hike BY: eTurboNews | eTN