Schengen visa to cost more from next month

Muscat: The Schengen visa fee per person (Short Stay Visa) will increase from 60 to 80 euros or the equivalent amount in local currency from February 2, said the VFS Global in Oman. For children in the age group 6-12, the visa fee will increase to 40 euros or equivalent, said the agency responsible for processing Schengen visa in the sultanate. Currently, travellers from 104 countries need to obtain a visa to enter the EU for stays up to three months within the Schengen Zone.

Under revised fees, applicants who used to pay 60 euros per application will now need to pay 80 euros, while those that had to pay 35 euros will now need to pay 40 euros. A Schengen visa is needed for 26 European countries, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, and Spain.

The increase in the visa fee comes as an updated Schengen Visa Code, which will be applied from February 2. There will be no fee for infants and children below six years of age as there is no change in this regard in the updated regulations. The cost of applying for a Schengen visa had remained unchanged since 2006. It may be noted that the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain granted 36,460 Schengen visas throughout 2018.

The German Embassy was the busiest processing 10,476 applications of Omanis who wished to travel to either Germany or Iceland. The Netherlands received 9,322 applications from travellers wishing to visit the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Estonia, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Sweden or Switzerland. Spain, which processes visas for Spain, Austria, Finland, Lithuania, Malta or Slovenia, followed with 8,419 and France with 8,081 applications received.




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