As of February 2022, Indian citizens will need to pay a fee of €80 instead of €60 when applying for a Schengen Visa from India. Children will also have to pay an increase, going up to €40 from €35.
Indians will be subject to several changes in terms of visa application procedures, rules, and benefits, starting from Monday, February 2, 2020.
Due to the implementation of the Updated Schengen Visa Code adopted by the EU Council in June 2019, all representative missions of the Schengen countries located abroad are obliged to apply the new rules, including the ones in India.
“Since Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) is binding in its entirety and is directly applicable in all EU Member States in accordance with the Treaties, all Schengen countries, including Lithuania, will apply it from 2 February 2020,” an official from the Information Monitoring and Media Division of Lithuania explained for SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The new rules also permit Indians to submit an application up to 6 months in advance of their trip instead of 3 as it is now, and foresee a harmonized approach to the issuing of multiple-entry visas with lengthier validity to regular travelers with a positive visa history.
According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, the Member States that are not represented in India in terms of visa admission are now obliged to cooperate with external service providers in order to facilitate visa application for travelers.
The external service providers are allowed to charge a service fee, which cannot be higher than the visa fee. This means Indians applying at an external visa service provider may have to pay up to €160 per visa application if the external service provider sets the maximum service fee permitted, which is €80.
In addition, the updated Visa Code introduces a mechanism that assesses whether the visa fees should change every 3 years. Another mechanism that will use visa processing as leverage will be introduced in a bid to improve cooperation with third countries on readmission.
According to Gent Ukëhajdaraj from SchengenVisaInfo.com, due to this mechanism, the fees may increase even to €160 if the EU authorities see it necessary.
“A visa fee of €120 or €160 will apply to non-cooperative third-countries, in cases when the EU Commission considers that action is needed in order to improve the level of cooperation of the third country concerned and the Union’s overall relations with that third country,” Ukëhajdaraj explained, adding that this provision shall not apply to children under 12 years old.
The mechanism may also shorten visa validity and introduce prolonged visa processing periods.
Statistics by SchengenVisaInfo.com show that in 2018, Schengen embassies and consulates in India processed 1,081,359 visa applications, 100,980 of which were rejected at a rejection rate of 9.3%.
France was the top favorite country for visa submission as 229,153 of the applications submitted in India were for Schengen visas to France, followed by Germany with 167,001 and Switzerland with 161,403 applications.
In terms of expenditures, in 2018, Indians spent €64,881,540 in visa applications to Europe, €6,058,800 of which money was spent by applicants who had their visas rejected.