Indians suffer financial loss of Rs 109 crore due to rejection of Schengen visas | Travel

Indians suffer financial loss of Rs 109 crore due to rejection of Schengen visas | Travel

For Indian travel enthusiasts, Europe is the ultimate dream destination, especially within the Schengen area, which ensures borderless movement for tourists, making travel easy. Schengen visas allow travelers to explore over 29 European countries including Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, etc. It is a dream opportunity to have the ultimate European experience in one trip. However, this dream is not always fulfilled due to tumultuous visa rejections.

Schengen visa refusals cause financial hardship for Indians. (Pexels)

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A recent report by Schengen News revealed a huge financial loss in the lengthy visa process. Indian applicants faced immense loss 109 crore (approx. €12.1 million) in 2023 due to rejection of Schengen visa applications. Despite the initial impression of affordability or convenience of the visa application process, non-refundable visa fees pose a significant financial burden on tourists. If a visa application is rejected, all the money is wasted, with no hope of refund. This is worrying and financially draining as visa prices are exorbitant and continue to increase every year.

Every year, a worrying number of Indian visa applications are rejected, dashing the hopes of visiting Europe. Out of 966,687 visa applications filed by Indians, 151,752 were rejected. India now ranks among the countries with the highest number of Schengen visa rejections. Last year, Schengen countries rejected 1.6 million visa applications, resulting in a total loss of fees 1,172 crores.

These nationalities were the ones that were refused the most Schengen visas last year:

Turkish applicants: 169,514 visas rejected

Algerian applicants: 169,514 visas refused

Indian applicants: 151,752 visas rejected

Moroccan applicants: 136,367 visas refused

Chinese applicants: 60,554 visas rejected

Reasons for rejection

Visa officials cite many reasons why visa applications are rejected, including ambiguous travel reasons, incomplete documentation, and insufficient proof of financial means for travel expenses. Additionally, some visas have been denied due to past visa rule violations and poor employment history.

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Visa fees increase

Over the years, visa fees have increased. The European Commission has implemented a 12% increase in Schengen visa prices, applicable to all countries from June 11, 2024. The fee for adults has increased from €80 (roughly Rs. 7,000) to €90 (roughly Rs. 8,000). Children aged 6 to 12 will now pay €45 (roughly Rs. 4,000), up from €40 (roughly Rs. 3,500).

Countries deemed uncooperative in repatriating their nationals could face steeper increases, with fees reaching €135-180 (around Rs 12,000-16,000). The move follows a planned review of EU visa fees in December 2023, conducted every three years under the Schengen Visa Code.

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