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Schengen Visa Fee Hike: Who’s Affected and Who Gets Exempted?

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June 11, 2024 – Starting today, travellers applying for a Schengen visa will encounter a revised fee structure, impacting most applicants. However, those from specific countries or fulfilling particular conditions remain exempt from this increase.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding who will be affected and who is exempt.

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New Schengen Visa Fees

Effective immediately, the Schengen visa fee has increased, affecting the majority of applicants. This adjustment is part of a broader effort to streamline and enhance visa processing within the Schengen Area, which comprises 27 European countries.

  • Adult applicants: The visa fee will increase from €80 to €90.
  • Children (aged 6-12): The fee will go up from €40 to €45.

The revised fee does not apply to nationals from certain countries with visa-facilitation agreements with the EU. For these countries, the visa fee remains at €35. These agreements ensure that even if the general visa fees rise in the future, the fees for these nations’ citizens will remain unchanged.

Countries Benefiting from Visa Facilitation Agreements

Citizens from the following countries continue to enjoy the reduced visa fee due to existing agreements with the EU:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus (Note: Officials of the Belarus regime are excluded from these facilitations)
  • Cape Verde

Exceptions for Non-Biometric Passport Holders

Additionally, the visa fee remains unchanged for nationals of eight countries that do not possess biometric passports. These countries have a visa-free agreement with the EU, yet their citizens still require a Schengen visa. The countries include:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

Also Read: Schengen Visa Rejection: Top 10 Countries with the Most Denied Applications

Who Is Exempt from the Schengen Visa Fee?

Despite the fee increase, several categories of applicants are exempt from paying the Schengen visa fee. These exemptions are designed to facilitate easier travel for individuals under specific conditions:

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1. Family Members of EU Citizens: Regardless of nationality, immediate family members of EU citizens, and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, are exempt.

2. Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders: Individuals holding diplomatic, service, or official passports are not required to pay the fee.

3. Students and Teachers: Pupils, students, postgraduate students, and their accompanying teachers entering the Schengen Area for studies or professional training are exempt.

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4. Representatives of Non-Profit Organizations: Representatives under 26 years old participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural, or educational events organized by non-profit organizations do not need to pay the visa fee.

Also Read: Exploring Europe: New Schengen Visa Rules and Tourism Taxes

Implications for Travellers

The new fee structure aims to bolster the visa processing capabilities within the Schengen Area, ensuring a more efficient and secure system. While the increase may impact the majority of travellers, the continued exemptions for certain groups and nationalities reflect the EU’s commitment to facilitating ease of travel where it aligns with broader policy objectives.

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For detailed and up-to-date information on visa requirements, fees, and exemptions, travellers are advised to consult official Schengen visa resources or their local consulate.

Stay Informed

This fee update is one of many steps the EU takes to adapt its visa policies to changing global travel dynamics. Regularly checking for updates on visa policies can ensure a smooth application process and avoid unexpected fees.


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