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EU reduces visa fee for Gambians after gov’t cooperation in migrant readmission

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By Omar Bah

The Gambian Embassy in Brussels and Mission to the European Union has announced that the visa fee for Gambian nationals who wish to visit Schengen areas has now been reduced from €120 to the standard visa application fee of €80, with effect from 12 April 2024.

In 2022, the EU decided to temporarily suspend the application of certain provisions in the visa code to nationals of The Gambia. This decision was taken due to the country’s lack of cooperation on the readmission of third-country nationals illegally staying in the EU.

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Since 2021, The Gambia has accepted a good number of its nationals from EU countries.

In a statement shared with The Standard, the EU wrote: “Today the Council decided that the visa fee for nationals of The Gambia who wish to travel to the Schengen area will be reduced from €120 to the standard visa application fee of €80.”

According to the EU, because of a lack of cooperation by The Gambia as regards the readmission of its nationals illegally staying in the EU, the council decided in December 2022 to increase the standard application fee for nationals of the Gambia to €120.

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“Since then, The Gambia has substantially and sustainably improved its cooperation on readmission as regards the organisation of return flights and operations. The EU visa code of 2019 introduced a mechanism that makes it possible to use visa processing as leverage in the EU’s cooperation with third countries on readmission.

However, the EU has not repealed its decision to temporarily suspend for nationals of The Gambia the possibility that member states waive requirements with regard to the documents to be submitted by Gambian visa applicants, the limitation of the processing period to 15 calendar days, the issuing of multiple entry visas, and the optional visa fee waiver for holders of diplomatic and service passports.”

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