UAE-Europe travel: Will Schengen visas cost more amid global fee hike?

The announcement of increased fees comes as residents finalise travel plans over Eid Al Adha break, summer vacation


Sahim Salim

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Published: Fri 24 May 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 24 May 2024, 10:58 PM

UAE residents planning to travel to Europe over the five-day Eid Al Adha break or the summer holiday may need to pay more in Schengen visa fees from next month. Effective June 11, the fees will go up by 12.5 per cent according to the European Commission.

VFS Global — which manages administrative visa applications from the UAE for multiple European countries — told Khaleej Times it is “aware” of the revised Schengen visa fee structure. “We will update applicants once we receive further instructions,” the company said in a statement. “VFS Global works closely with its client governments and operates in accordance with their stipulated guidelines.”

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On its website, the company said the European Commission has “informed” about the increase of the visa fee from EUR 80 (Dh319) to EUR 90 (Dh359) for adults and EUR 40 (Dh160) to EUR 45 (Dh180) for children.

Applications that are under process will not be affected as the new visa fee comes into effect on June 11. “All visa applications … on or after this date will be subject to the new visa fee. This hike applies to visa applications submitted worldwide.”

Non-European Union (EU) nationals require a Schengen visa to travel across 27 states in the Schengen area.

Travel to Europe is so popular among UAE residents that they often don’t get Schengen visa appointments for months. UAE residents typically apply for the visa at least two months in advance. Appointments are particularly hard to come by in the lead up to the two-month summer break (July and August). VFS recommends travellers to apply for visas when they book their flights and stay.

“For summer travel to … Schengen (countries), the slots are already filling up,” Monaz Billimoria, UAE regional head of VFS Global, had told Khaleej Times in March. Passengers can apply for a Schengen visa up to six months before their date of travel.

“We urge applicants to plan their travels and apply well in advance, especially with the upcoming Eid Al Adha and summer holidays, when we expect to see a surge in applications,” Billimoria said then.

VFS saw a 15 per cent surge in visa applications in 2023 as compared to the previous year. Popular destinations for travellers from the UAE last year were Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye and United Kingdom.


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