On 2 February, the European Commission presented a draft proposal for a Schengen visa fee increase, which, if enacted, will be implemented in the next few months. The European Union (EU) is also planning to further increase the fee for countries that show insufficient co-operation in accepting the re-entry of people deported from member states.
The draft on the Schengen visa fee increase presented by the European Commission on 2 February, following a meeting in December in which experts from member states overwhelmingly supported the revision, will be open for feedback until 1 March. During this time, EU citizens will be able to express their views on the issue and indicate whether they support or oppose the proposal. The EU will then be able to implement the changes, which will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
It is emphasised that the proposed price increase regarding the Schengen visa fee, which is reviewed every three years, is due to the increasing inflation rate in the EU, and if this change is realised, visa fees will increase from 80 Euro to 90 Euro for adults and from 40 Euro to 45 Euro for children. For countries that do not co-operate in the readmission of citizens, the cost will increase from 120 Euros to 135 Euros and from 160 Euros to 180 Euros.
In addition, the European Commission proposes that external providers of Schengen visa processing services should be allowed to increase their fees in line with the revision. The maximum amount that external providers, such as visa agencies, can charge for collecting Schengen visa applications on behalf of Member States is usually half of the standard fee. The Commission proposes to increase this from €40 to €45. In contrast, the Schengen visa extension fee will remain unchanged at €30.
The EU has also announced plans to introduce the much-discussed digital Schengen visa in 2022, where travellers will be able to apply online regardless of the country they plan to visit and the digital version will replace the current system of stickers in passports. The European Commission stated that they plan to implement the digital platform by 2028.
Citizens of countries such as Turkey, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China need a Schengen visa, which allows a stay of up to 90 days in 28 European countries for tourism or family visits. However, citizens of countries such as the British, Canadians, Americans and Australians do not need to apply for a Schengen visa.