Kenyans applying for Schengen visas will be forced to dig deeper into their pockets as application fees will increase from February 2020.
This comes after the European Union Council adopted an updated Schengen Visa code that will see the current application fee for a Schengen visa increase by 33 percent. This means the fee will shoot to €80 (Sh9,060) from €60 (Sh6,795) beginning February after the amended regulation came into force.
The fees for applicants who are minors will increase to €40 (Sh4,530) from the €35 (Sh3,964) charged currently. The new code extends the period for application from three months to six months in advance of a trip.
A Schengen visa allows entry into 26 countries in Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, and Hungary. Others are Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The visa allows visitors to Europe to travel to any of the 26 nations for up to 90 days for tourism or business. Last year, Schengen embassies and consulates in Kenya processed 38,503 visa applications, according to VisaInfo.com.
Out of the total applications, only 4,769 were rejected, representing an acceptance rate of 87.6 percent. A majority (6,142) of the applications submitted in Kenya in 2018 were for Schengen visas to Germany, followed by France (5,059) and the Netherlands (4,406).