Travel to Europe Gets Pricier as Schengen Visa Fees Increase

The cost of traveling to Europe is set to rise for many visitors as Schengen visa fees increase by 12% globally. This change, implemented by the European Commission and taking effect on June 11, 2024, applies to short-stay Schengen visas (visa type C), the most common type for tourism.

For adult applicants, the visa fee will jump from €80 to €90. Children aged 6 to 12 will also see a rise in visa costs, from €40 to €45. The European Commission attributes this adjustment to keeping pace with inflation and rising civil servant salaries. The previous increase in Schengen visa fees occurred in February 2020.

The decision follows a review of EU visa fees conducted in December 2023, as mandated by the Schengen Visa Code. This code regulates visa issuance for short stays in the Schengen Area, which comprises 26 European countries that have abolished internal border controls.

While the majority of applicants will face a moderate rise in visa fees, some countries may see a steeper increase. The European Commission can impose a visa fee surcharge on non-cooperative countries regarding the readmission of their citizens who are staying irregularly in the Schengen Area. These fees can be as high as €135 or even €180.

The European Travel Commission (ETC), an association representing national tourism organizations in Europe, has expressed concerns that the visa fee hike could discourage travel from certain regions. The ETC argues that tourism is a vital sector for the European economy, and increasing visa costs could create a barrier for potential visitors.

Those planning a trip to Europe should factor in the new visa fees when budgeting for their travel expenses. Applicants are advised to check with their local embassy or consulate for the latest visa fee information and application procedures. The specific requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa can vary depending on the applicant's nationality and travel plans.

While the Schengen visa fee increase adds a layer of cost to European travel, it's important to remember that many European destinations offer excellent value for money, especially when compared to other popular tourist regions. By planning your trip strategically and taking advantage of discounts and off-season travel deals, you can still experience a memorable and affordable European adventure.

Previous Article Next Article