Dubai: Travelling to Europe will now be costlier as Schengen visa fees will go up to 80 Euros from the current 60 Euros with effect from February 2.
“As of February 2, 2020, the Schengen visa fee per person (short stay visa) will increase from 60 to 80 Euros or the equivalent amount in your local currency (Dh 328). For children between 6-12 years old, the visa fee will increase to 40 Euros or equivalent (Dh 164),” said a notification on the website of VFS Global, which manages visa and passport issuance-related administrative tasks for Schengen countries.
As of February 2, 2020, the Schengen visa fee per person (short stay visa) will increase from 60 to 80 Euros or the equivalent amount in your local currency (Dh328). For children between 6-12 years old, the visa fee will increase to 40 Euros or equivalent (Dh164).
The Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any Schenghen country in Europe for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. As many as 26 European countries, including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Switzerland and Spain, come under this bracket.
There will be no fee for infants and children below six years of age as there is no change in this category.
Schengen Visa Code
The revision in fees follows changes made to the rules under the Schengen Visa Code that regulates application procedures, processing and issuance of short-stay visas to the EU, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com, an independent website dedicated to all things related to Schengen visas.
It said the European Commission adopted a proposal on the revision of the code to strengthen the common visa policy while taking into account migration and security concerns.
The new code introduces a mechanism that asserts whether the visa fees should change or remain the same, for every three years. Some of the countries cooperating with the EU in terms of readmission of illegal migrants may also benefit from reduced visa fees.
In a bid to facilitate visa application procedures, application forms will be allowed to be completed and submitted electronically, where possible.
It also obliges member states to allow visa applicants to sign the application form electronically, with electronic signatures to be recognised by competent authorities.
Another benefit that the new code brings for visa applicants, is that it extends the period within which an application can be lodged, from three months to six months in advance of a trip.
Seafarers in the performance of their duties can submit an application as early as nine months in advance of their arrival at any of the Schengen ports.
The latest an application can be submitted, however, remains 15 calendar days before an intended trip to the Schengen area, the website explained.
“Travelers frequently visiting a Schengen area, who have a positive visa history, meaning they have lawfully used their previous visas, they have a good economic situation in the country of origin and a genuine intention to leave the territory of the member states before the expiry of the visa for which they have applied, will be granted with the benefit of getting a multiple-entry visa valid for up to five years,” the website said, adding the new visa code foresees using visa processing as a leverage to push third-countries collaborate in terms of readmission of illegal immigrants.
A spokesperson of the European Commission had told agencies earlier, “A moderate increase of the fee to 80 Euros will ensure that we have sufficient financial resources to maintain a wide consular coverage worldwide, upgrade IT equipment and software and provide faster and user-friendly procedures for visa applicants.”
The spokesperson said the Schengen visa fee, even at the revised rate, remains lower than what a visa to many other countries costs - 125 Euros for China, 133 Euros for the US and 90 Euros for India.
What will change for Schengen visa applicants?
• Higher visa fees (from 60 to 80 Euros)
• Extended application submission periods (from three to six months)
• Electronic application forms in most countries
• Frequent travelers with a positive visa history to benefit from visas with lengthier validity (up to five years)
During 2018, over 68,000 Schengen visa applications were processed between April and August from the UAE.