Tuesday, May 28, 2024

EU Repeals Second Layer Visa Sanction on Gambians, Reduces Visa Fees to €80

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By: Dawda Baldeh

The Council of the European Union (EU) has decided to repeal the second layer of the EU Visa Sanction on The Gambia, reducing the visa fee for Gambian nationals traveling to the Schengen area.

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Previously, Gambian nationals were required to pay a visa fee of €120, but now they will only have to pay the standard visa application fee of €80.

The decision was announced in a press release by The Gambia Embassy in Brussels and the Mission to the European Union on 12th April 2024.

The Council of the European Union also issued a press release confirming the reduction in visa fees for Gambians.

According to the EU, the initial increase in visa fees for Gambians was implemented in December 2022 due to a lack of cooperation from The Gambia regarding the readmission of its nationals who were illegally staying in the EU.

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However, since then, the EU said The Gambia has shown significant improvement in its cooperation on readmission, particularly in organizing return flights and operations.

The EU visa code of 2019 includes provisions that allow visa processing to be used as leverage for cooperation on readmissions with third countries.

Initially, the EU suspended visa processing for Gambians due to a lack of cooperation on readmission.

Additionally, requirements for documents submitted by Gambian visa applicants, processing periods for multiple entry visas, and visa fee waivers for diplomatic and service passport holders were also affected.

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With the recent improvement in cooperation on readmissions, the EU has decided to repeal the second layer of the visa sanction and reduce the visa fee back to the standard amount for Gambian nationals.

This decision will allow Gambians to travel to the Schengen areas by paying a visa fee of €80.

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