Italy’s embassy in Pakistan confirms increase in Schengen visa fees

Islamabad: Italy embassy in Pakistan this week confirmed increase in the Schengen visa fees.

“Please be informed that, following the publication of the Delegated Regulation of the European Commission n. 2024/1415 of 14/03/2024, Schengen visa fee amounts have changed,” said a statement by the embassy.

It added: “The new wording of the art. 16 provides for an increase in visa fees from 80 to 90 euros.”

For applicants aged six years or more and under twelve, the fee goes from 40 to 45 euros, while it remains free for applicants aged between 0 and 6 (under six). The new amounts in Euro is effective from June 11, 2024.

The European Commission has blamed the price hike on inflation in member states.

The EU said the visa fee has been increased in price by 12 per cent. The basic fee for a Schengen visa is up from €80 to €90 for adults and from €40 to €45 for children.

It says fees are still “relatively low” compared to the cost of a visa in other countries. The UK, for example, starts at €134, the US around €185 and Australia €117.

Schengen countries include EU member states except Ireland and Cyprus as well as Romania and Bulgaria for land borders. Though they aren’t EU members, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland are also part of the Schengen Convention.

Schengen visas are needed for non-EU citizens who don’t benefit from the EU/Schengen Area’s 90-day rule. That includes South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China, among others.

They are needed for tourism or visits to family but cannot be used for work in 28 European countries. With a Schengen visa, you can visit for up to 90 days in any six month period.

People from countries including the US, Canada, the UK and Australia who are visiting for short periods of time do not need to apply for a Schengen visa as they are entitled to 90 days of visa-free travel out of every 180.

Anyone who wants to stay longer or to stay for work would need to apply for a different visa from the country they want to visit.

Every three years the Commission assesses these fees and can increase them based on a list of “objective criteria”. This includes inflation rates and the average salary of a civil servant in member states.

It proposed the price hike on 2 February after a meeting in December where member states supported the revision with an “overwhelming majority”. The Commission has also proposed to let external providers of Schengen visas increase their fees in line with the revision.