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EU raises Schengen visa fee to €90

More expenses await African nationals seeking visas to enter the European Union as the EU plans to increase visa fees starting Tuesday, according to Schengen visa statistics released on Saturday.

The report stated that starting from Tuesday; African nationals would pay €90 instead of €80 for a Schengen visa application

The report stated that the EU had earned €3.4m from rejected Schengen visa applications submitted by Nigerian citizens.

According to the data, in 2023, African nationals received 704,000 negative responses for their visa requests.

“This means that €56.3m went up in smoke, considering that visa application fees are not refundable,” it stated.

The report noted that a high number of rejected visa applications had caused African nationals to spend millions every year, with the fees known as ‘reverse remittances’ benefitting no one but the EU countries.

“African nationals spent €56.3m in visa application fees in 2023, representing 43 per cent of all expenses; rejection rates in 2023 were especially high for African and Asian countries, which bear 90 per cent of all expenses. Expenditures are to increase by 12.5 per cent starting next week as the EU raises visa fees for adults from €80 to €90 on 11 June, following a recent decision by the EU Commission,” it added.

Algeria was the country of origin for most rejected applications in 2023, representing 23.5 per cent of all amount spent on rejected applications.

The country also had the second-highest number of rejected applications compared to all – 289,000 out of 704,000, representing 42.3 per cent of all requests.

This nationality group is especially impacted by visa rejections because it has high application rates and they are affected economically when placing visa applications” the report added.

It further explained that Moroccans, top visa applicants from Africa for the year, had the highest number of visas rejected.

“A total of 437,000 visa requests filed by this nationality group were rejected in 2023, representing 62 per cent of the total. As per expenses, Moroccans spent €10.9m on rejected visa applications in 2023,” the report indicated.

It added that Africans were heavily impacted by those expenses, considering that the majority of African countries have some of the lowest wages in the world.

According to the report, the amount of Africans rejected visas is 43.1 per cent of all the amount generated by rejected applications in 2023.

A recent study by EU Observer revealed that the Schengen visa rejections generated an amount of €130m in 2023.

“In the previous year, this amount stood at €105m, showing an upward trend of Schengen visa expenses as well as rejection rates,” the report stated.

The founder of LAGO Collective, Marta Foresti, said, “Visa inequality has very tangible consequences and the world’s poorest pay the price. 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.”

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