Citizens from certain non-EU countries, which are not eligible for the 90-day visa-free travel within the EU and Schengen area, must obtain a Schengen visa for entry.
The European Commission has proposed a fee increase for the Schengen visa in 2024. If approved, adults will see a price rise of 12%, from €80 to €90, while fees for children will increase from €40 to €45.
Additionally, the EU intends to impose higher fees on countries with “insufficient cooperation on readmission,” which involves the return of individuals deported from the EU.
Countries like South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and China, whose nationals require a Schengen visa, could see these fee increases implemented in the coming months.
Details of the Proposed Schengen Visa Fee Increase in 2024: Following a December meeting, where member state experts largely supported the fee revision, the European Commission unveiled a proposal on February 2. EU citizens have until March 1 to provide feedback on the proposal. After the feedback period, the changes could be enacted and become effective 20 days post-publication in the EU’s Official Journal.
The fee adjustment is attributed to the EU’s inflation rate, with the Commission reviewing Schengen visa fees every three years.
Other Notable Changes and Proposals:
- Countries failing to cooperate on readmission could face fees increased to €135 and €180 for adults and children, respectively.
- External Schengen visa service providers may also raise their fees from €40 to €45, although the fee for visa extensions will stay at €30.
- A digital-only Schengen visa is in the pipeline, with plans to launch it by 2028, allowing travelers to apply online and eliminate passport stickers.
Who Needs a Schengen Visa for EU Entry? The Schengen visa is mandatory for nationals from specific non-EU countries lacking the 90-day visa-free privilege. This visa permits a stay of up to 90 days in 28 European countries for tourism or family visits. Citizens of countries like the UK, Canada, the USA, and Australia do not require a Schengen visa for short stays.