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Japa: Nigerians spent over €3m on rejected Schengen visa applications in 2023

The European Union (EU) collected €3,435,200 from rejected Schengen visa applications from Nigeria in 2023, according to statistics on Schengen visas.

The EU governments globally garnered €130 million from such rejections, with African and Asian countries bearing 90% of the costs, as reported by EUobserver.

The report highlights that African countries are particularly affected, with visa rejection rates reaching 40-50% for nations like Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria.

These figures, however, do not account for the additional costs incurred from missed travel opportunities for business and leisure, or the expenses related to legal advice and private agencies involved in visa processing.

The phenomenon of visa rejections has been termed “reverse remittances” as shared by EUobserver, emphasising that these non-refundable fees remain with the EU governments regardless of the application outcome.

“Visa inequality has very tangible consequences and the world’s poorest pay the price,” Marta Foresti, founder of LAGO Collective and senior visiting fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, told EUobserver.

“You can think of the costs of rejected visas as ‘reverse remittances’, money flowing from poor to rich countries. We never hear about these costs when discussing aid or migration, it is time to change that,” she added.

Morocco and Algeria top the list for the highest number of visa applications to the EU.

Data also shows that rejection rates for short-term visitor visas to Europe and the UK are higher for applicants from low and middle-income countries.

The total cost of Schengen visa rejections increased to €130 million in 2023, up from €105 million in 2022.

The rejection rate is anticipated to rise further in 2024, as the EU visa application fee for adults is set to increase from €80 to €90 on June 11, following a recent decision by the EU Commission.

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