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Schengen visa fee for adults and children is being raised from June

The European Commission is set to raise Schengen visa fees starting June 11, 2024. The new charges will be £90 for adults and £45 for children.

The Slovenian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has announced that visa fees for children between 6 and 12 years old will increase from €40 to €45.

For countries that have not cooperated with the European Union in readmitting their citizens who are irregularly staying in EU member states, visa fees could rise to €135 or €180.

This fee increase follows the latest review of EU visa fees in December 2023, as stipulated by the Schengen Visa Code, which mandates a review every three years.

The EU has justified the increase by citing the need to account for inflation and the salaries of civil servants in member states.

However, the International Air Transport Association warns that the higher EU visa fees could negatively impact travel affordability and local economies in EU member states, as increased fees may deter travelers and reduce travel volumes.

Meanwhile, the EU’s once-idyllic system of passport-free travel among its member states is undergoing significant changes due to perceived terrorist threats and concerns about unchecked immigration.

European governments are increasingly implementing border controls to reclaim sovereignty and bolster national security.

Eleven Schengen countries, including France, Slovakia, Sweden, and Germany, have reintroduced various border controls such as identity checks, passport checks, police interviews, static checkpoints, and vehicle inspections.

This move reflects the belief among many nations that such measures are necessary to prevent the “infiltration” of terrorists posing as migrants and to alleviate pressure on overloaded asylum reception centers.

Italy, for example, heightened border checks with Slovenia, attributing the increased threat to the Israel-Hamas conflict and the constant migratory pressure from land and sea. In response, Slovenia initiated border checks with Croatia and Hungary, citing threats to public order and internal security similar to those faced by Italy.

The Schengen treaty, signed nearly 40 years ago, allows unrestricted travel between certain EU countries. However, the recent border restrictions directly contradict the spirit of Schengen rules, which permit entry to the EU without passport checks until departure.

Critics argue that Schengen, once hailed as the “crown jewel of European integration,” has become a magnet for both terrorists and migrants. Last year, a third of a million illegal immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers entered the EU legally through external borders and freely moved within the EU under Schengen regulations.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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