Take note, globetrotters…

For many of us who want to travel to Europe, the first thing we do isn’t budgeting or flight checks, or checking what the weather is. We google to check if we require a visa, and most often… the answer is yes, which leads to groans of near defeat because this means we need to start the dreaded process of obtaining a travel visa. If you are planning on making a trip, take note, as it has been announced that the fees to obtain the Schengen visa will increase in June 2024 by 12.5 per cent.

The announcement was made on the official VFS Global website on May 22, 2024.

It read, ‘The European Commission has informed of the increase of the visa fee from 80 Euros (Dhs319) to 90 Euros (Dhs358) for adults and 40 Euros (Dhs159) to 45 Euros (Dhs179) for children.’

The statement added that the new visa fee will come into force on June 11, 2024. ‘All visa applications lodged worldwide on or after this date will be subject to the new visa fee’, it added.

According to the official gazette of record for the European Union, ‘the Commission has analysed developments in the general Union-wide inflation rate and the weighted average of the salaries of Member States’ civil servants between 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2023. It has concluded that there is a need to increase the amount of the visa fees by 12.5 per cent.’

The review of EU visa fees takes place once every three years as mandated by the Schengen Visa Code. The EU cites ‘inflation and civil servants’ salaries’ as a reason for the hike. The last increase was in February 2020 when the fees rose from 60 Euros (Dhs239) to 80 Euros (Dhs319).

The Schengen Area consists of 29 countries and covers nearly all of mainland Europe. The countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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