(Image source from: livemint.com)
The Schengen visa fee is said to get increased from Euro 60 currently, to Euro 80 making it costlier for people to travel to Europe. The new fees is said to be coming into effect from February 2,2020.
A Schegen visa is needed in order to travel to 26 European countries which includes Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lituana, Luxemberg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, in the list that needs Schegen visa.
A European Commission spokesperson has said that, the fee of visa will be increased to Euro 80 for all the applicants from all the countries being the countries with visa facilitation agreement with the EU as exceptional.
The spokesperson has also said that the visa fee for the children aged from 6 to 12 years of age will have to pay Euro 40 instead of the current fee being Euro 35. The exchange rates said on Wednesday that, a Euro is equivalent to Rs 78.93.
There has been no change regarding the visa fee for infants and children below six years of age. There will be no fee just like the current rules and no changes have been made regarding it.
The spokesperson has said that sufficient financial resources for maintaining a wide consular coverage worldwide, upgrading the IT equipment and software will be ensured and the provision of faster and user-friendly procedures for visa applicants will be taken care, with the increase of the visa fee to Euro 80 from the current fee of Euro 60.
Detection of potential security, risks of irregular migration during the procedures of application for visa, will also be improved with the hike, he said.
He explained saying that the Schegen visa fee will be low when compared to other countries, giving an example of China where it costs Euro 125 and Euro 133 for the United States. The spokesperson has said that there have been no substantial changes made although the application form has been slightly restructured and formulation of certain entries are being clarified so that if gets clear for the applicants regarding the information that is required.
India was listed as the third largest source for Schegen visa applications with 10,81,359 requests being made in 2018. according to the SchegenVisaInfo.com, which is a website that provides the news which is related to the Schegen visa, the Swiss consulate in New Delhi has received 1,61,403 applications and has topped the list as the busiest Schegen consulate in India. It is followed by the French consulate in New Delhi and Mumbai where in over 140 thousand applications have been received together.
The website has explained that the service fee can be charged by the external service providers but the fee cannot be more than the visa fee which also means that if the external service providers charge the maximum of Euro 80 permitted, then the Indians applying at an external visa service provider may have to pay up to Euro 160 as the total fee for the overall per visa application.
By Shrithika Kushangi