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    “Schengen Visa Fees Increase by 12%, Leading to Higher Costs for European Travelers”


    In a recent development, European travel is set to become more expensive as the European Commission has announced a 12% increase in Schengen Visa fees. This hike affects travelers seeking entry into the Schengen area, which comprises 27 European countries known for abolishing passport and border controls at their mutual borders.

    The new fee structure, effective immediately, raises the fee for adult applicants to €90 from the previous €80. Children aged 6-12 will now pay €45, up from €40. Moreover, countries perceived as uncooperative with the EU’s efforts to repatriate their citizens may face steeper fee hikes, with fees potentially reaching €135 or €180, as reported by News 18.

    The European Commission attributes this fee increase to inflation and rising civil servant salaries, marking the first fee adjustment since February 2020. This move comes amidst a significant increase in short-stay visa applications to the Schengen region, reaching over 10.3 million in 2023, a 37% year-on-year rise from the previous year. However, this figure is still below the pre-pandemic peak of 17 million applications in 2019.

    Interestingly, this fee adjustment aligns with the EU’s broader efforts to attract tourists worldwide. Notably, on April 18, 2024, the European Commission introduced a new visa regime tailored specifically for Indian citizens residing in India. Dubbed the “visa cascade,” this regime offers easier access to multi-entry visas, rewards positive visa histories, and introduces the potential for a five-year visa.

    The Schengen Visa, typically issued for short stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period, facilitates tourism, business trips, and family visits. It includes various types such as the Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) for short stays, the Airport Transit Visa (ATV) for passing through Schengen airports without entering the area, and the National Visa for longer stays exceeding 90 days.

    The Schengen Area encompasses countries like Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway. While Norway is not formally a Schengen Area member, it adheres to similar regulations.

    Sources By Agencies

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