Schengen Visa

From June 11th, 2024, the Schengen visa fees will increase by 12% each in the European Union. The European Commission concluded that this would affect tourists across the globe applying for short-stay visas to the Schengen states.

The Hike in Schengen Visa

The European Commission has hiked Schengen visa fees by 12% because of inflation and increased wages paid to officials who process visa applications. The increase needs to speed up the visa application process and extend the available working hours, allowing the hiring of more people to fix bottlenecks. The rise in visa applicants, over ten percent, for instance, contributes to the influx of people from countries needing a visa for Italy

The 3 million received in 2023 has put great pressure on the healthcare system. The higher fees have, however, caused some dissatisfaction among people. Still, the Commission holds the opinion that the changes are due to some of the economic pulls and outputs that enhance the efficiency of visa processing. The EU cites two primary factors behind the fee increase.

Increase in Visits to Visa Departments Even in A Pandemic 

This decision to increase fees for Schengen visas comes at a time when the EU and Schengen-associated countries have recorded a sharp rise in Italy visa demand. In 2023, these countries received more than 10 PPS. Three million applications for short-stay visas, 37% more than in 2022.

However, 12 million marks are still below 17 million in 2019, which marked the record high before the pandemic. The accelerated demand has put pressure on the visa processes. The EC is optimistic that the fee increment will help provide more money, staff, etc., to enhance the visa application and considerably cut down the time taken. 

Impact on Travelers 

Recently, they have decided to increase the fees for receiving the Schengen visa as well. This rise is the first since February 2020, when the cost was hiked from €60 to €80. The new fees stand at €90 for adults upon reducing the earlier set charge of €80. In contrast, children between the ages of 6 to 12 will be charged €45, which is in contrast to the earlier €40.

This has caused some dissatisfaction, especially among Turkish citizens who have been waiting on the anvil of visa liberalization between Turkey and the EU. Over the years, the Turkish government has wanted visa-free travel to the Schengen area, which has been met with some elements of disagreement by some EU member countries. 

Schengen Visa Trends 

The Schengen Area recorded over 10. Three million applications for short-stay visas, a 37% growth from 2022 but still slightly higher than 2019’s 17 million. In 2023, travelers from India preferred European countries more, and that has clearly been depicted in the Schengen visa requirement, as there was an increase of 43% from 2022 to 2023. In third place was India, with 966,687 visa applications. However, China overwhelmed all with 1 million applications, and Turkey had the other 1 million.

Reaction to the Hike 

There has been a rise in Schengen visa fees, and this has elicited criticism from one quarter or the other. Citizens of Turkey waiting for visa liberalization with the EU are the most dissatisfied. Bodies dealing with culture, trade, and transportation want them to increase it in the Schengen region, but higher fees may deter people. 

Nevertheless, the EU has blamed inflation and civil servants’ salary increments as factors that led to an increase in fares. However, the fee changes are intended to provide the resources to improve the efficiency of visa services and lessen the amount of time clients must wait following a rise in demand for visas.

Implications for Employers and Travelers

The expense of such foreign work, temporary postings, and official visits will be directly influenced by augmented Schengen visa fees. Employers must consider soaring visa costs when they develop a budget for their international movement assignments.

In contrast, tourists traveling to the Schengen zone should include additional charges in their budgets. Even though prices go up, the requirements for getting a short-term Schengen visa are not modified at all.

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