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Schengen Visa Update: Get ready to spend some more Euros on Visas for Europe!

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Schengen Visa Update: Get ready to spend some more Euros on Visas for Europe!

  Posted On: 28 May 2024

Schengen Visa Update: Get ready to spend some more Euros on Visas for Europe!

Planning a trip to Europe? Be aware that the cost of a Schengen visa is on the rise. The European Commission has recently announced an increase in Schengen Visa prices, effective from June 11th, 2024. According to the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the fee for adult applicants will go up from €80 to €90, and the cost for minors aged six to twelve will increase from €40 to €45 starting from the specified date.

According to the report, the European Commission has decided to increase Short-Stay Schengen Visa (Visa type C ) prices by 12 per cent globally. Furthermore, it is made clear that countries that do not cooperate with the readmission of their irregularly residing individuals to the European Union will face visa costs of €135 to €180.

In recent times, the popularity of Schengen countries has been on the rise, according to global news. Schengen countries offer students and professionals lifetime memories. According to reports, the Schengen Area received more than 10.3 million short-stay visa applications in 2023, which is much higher than any of the popular destinations around the globe.

Read More: How to apply for a Schengen Visa?

Dissatisfaction over Schengen Visa Fee Hike

While the European Union cites inflation and civil servants’ salaries as reasons for the increase in Schengen visa fee hike, the move has been met with criticism. The decision of European Union over price hike of the Schengen visa has sparked dissatisfaction among the Turkish Citizens as the former had hoped for a visa-free arrangement with the European Visa.

Not only the dissatisfactions has come from the Turkish community, but also among travellers and citizens of countries waiting visa-free agreements with the EU. The fee hike comes at a time when the Schengen Visa is still recovering from the impact of the Covid-19, with visa applications reaching over 10.3 million in 2023, a 37 per cent increase from 2022, but still below the 2019 peak of 17 million.

Alternate Visa Options for Travellers who cannot afford Schengen Visa Fee Hike

For travellers who cannot afford the increased Schengen visa fees, there are alternative visa options available. One such option is to explore visa reservation services, like Visa Reservation, which can provide the necessary documentation required for a visa application without the need to pay for flight and hotel bookings upfront. These services offer a cost-effective solution for travellers who may find the increased Schengen visa fees challenging to afford, allowing them to fulfil visa requirements without incurring additional expenses. Additionally, travellers can consider exploring visa options specific to individual Schengen countries, as some may offer different visa types or fee structures that could be more affordable for certain travellers.

You may also read: Schengen countries with the lowest rejection rates

India ranks Third in Visa Applications

In today’s era of Social media, where travellers are en route on vacations, Indian nationals have expressed a growing desire to visit Schengen countries and Europe. As per the reports (immigration data), there is a 43 per cent increase in Schengen Visa Applications in 2023 as compared to the previous years. Now as per estimates, India ranked 3rd in visa applications for Schengen countries with almost 966, 700 submissions.

Nationals from non-European countries, particularly China, hold the top spot with 1.1 million applications to the Schengen countries. According to SchengenVisaInfo, Chinese nationals made up more than 10 percent of all Schengen Visa applications in 2023, securing the top rank, followed by Turkish and Indian citizens.

New Scheme for Indian Citizens

Exciting news for Indian travelers!

The European Commission has introduced an innovative visa "cascade" scheme to streamline the visa application process. This program allows Indian citizens living in India who have used two visas in the past three years to qualify for a two-year multi-entry visa. And that's not all – they can then apply for a five-year visa, granting them the freedom to stay for up to 90 days every 180-day period. This opens up amazing travel opportunities for Indian citizens looking to explore Europe!

Read also: Countries to apply to if you have a Visa Rejection

Here are some ways Indian citizens can prepare for the upcoming Schengen visa fee hike:

1. Apply for visas well in advance: With the fee increase coming into effect on June 11, 2024, it's advisable to apply for Schengen visas as early as possible before the deadline to avoid paying the higher fees.

2. Consider alternative visa options: Explore visa reservation services like Visa Reservation that can provide the necessary documentation without requiring upfront payment for flights and hotels. This can be a more cost-effective solution for those who may find the increased fees challenging.

3. Look into individual Schengen country visa options: Some countries may offer different visa types or fee structures that could be more affordable for certain travelers.

4. Take advantage of the new visa "cascade" regime for Indian nationals: This system allows Indian residents to obtain a two-year multi-entry visa after lawfully using two visas within the previous three years, followed by a five-year visa. This can help reduce the frequency of paying visa fees.

5. Factor in the increased costs when planning your travel budget: The fee hike from €80 to €90 for adults and €40 to €45 for children will add to the overall cost of travel to the Schengen Area. Be prepared for this additional expense when budgeting for your trip to Europe.

6. Stay informed about any further developments or changes: Keep an eye out for any updates or exceptions related to the Schengen visa fee hike that may impact Indian citizens.
By planning ahead, exploring alternative options, and staying informed, Indian travelers can navigate the upcoming Schengen visa fee increase more effectively.

What is Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area, a zone of unrestricted travel within Europe, includes 29 nations, including 25 EU members. Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are among the countries taking part in the Schengen Area.

Reach out to SIEC for applications and queries.

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