The European Commission (EC) is considering increasing the cost of a Schengen visa. The proposed hike is from 80 to 90 euros for adults and 40 to 45 euros for children. This change, if approved, could happen this year, affecting countries without a simplified visa deal with the EU.
European Commission Proposes Higher Fees for Schengen Visa
The European Commission has recently suggested raising the standard fee for a Schengen visa. The new proposal could see adults paying 90 euros instead of the current 80 euros. For children, the fee may go up from 40 to 45 euros. This increase might be in place before the summer of 2024 if it gets the green light.
The Commission's idea is now on its official website. European Union (EU) citizens can review it and share their thoughts until March 1. According to eTurbo News, the change mainly affects countries that do not have an easy visa process with the EU. The proposal also mentions that the cost charged by outside companies to help with visa applications will go up. They may charge up to 45 euros instead of 40 euros.
If this new plan is accepted, people from countries without a simple visa agreement with the EU will have to pay more. The total cost for a visa will be 135 euros, which includes a visa fee of 90 euros and a service fee of 45 euros. However, the cost of extending a visa will stay the same at 30 euros. This extension service is not available in some places, like Russia.
The European Commission would review the visa fees every three years under this plan. They will consider things like how much prices are going up in the EU and what government workers are paid on average.
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The decision to raise the Schengen visa fees is up for discussion now. If EU citizens support it, the new rules could start 20 days after publication in the EU's Official Journal. This means getting a Schengen visa could become more expensive before the 2024 summer season begins.
EU Approved Digital Schengen Visa Applications
In November 2023, the Council of the European Union approved a major change for travelers needing a Schengen visa. This new decision allows people to apply for a Schengen visa online, making the process faster and simpler.
The introduction of online Schengen visa applications is a big step. Spanish Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez highlighted its benefits, saying it will make things easier for travelers and government offices. The new system will speed up the process and make it more efficient.
Visa Guide shared that a key part of this change is a single online platform for Schengen visa applications. Applicants can fill in their details, upload necessary documents, and pay the visa fee. They can also get updates on their visa status through this platform. The system will decide which country will handle each application, especially for trips to several Schengen countries. Still, applicants can ask for a specific country to process their visa.
Most people won't need to visit consulates in person, except first-timers, those with old biometric data, or with new travel documents. The new rules include a high-tech barcode instead of the traditional visa sticker. This barcode is more secure and reduces the chance of fake visas.
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