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Gambia had highest visa rejection to EU in 2022

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A report has revealed that in 2022, Gambians had the highest visa rejection for entry into the European Union of the citizens of any country featured in the European Commission’s annual cooperation report.

The Gambia remains the only country to date to have faced EU sanctions according to Article 25a of their Visa Code, which were first adopted in October 2021 and then further escalated in November 2022, resulting in an increase in visa processing time and fee for Gambians desiring to travel to the EU.

The measures were introduced by the EU after mass protests in The Gambia saw the government introduce a moratorium on accepting deportations.

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According to Statewatch news outlet, in January this year, the sanctions were eased through the abolishment of the increased visa fee after the Council of the EU said there has been a “substantial and sustained improvement in the cooperation on readmission with regard to the organisation of return flights and operations”.

It noted that regular charter flights have headed to The Gambia in the past year, however, while this may make a Schengen visa application cheaper, it is unlikely to make visas any more accessible, given the 57 per cent rejection rate in 2022.

Meanwhile, SchengenVisaInfo.com in a report released last evening stated that the increased visa processing times continue to remain in place for Gambian Schengen visa applicants.

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“The council decided to facilitate sanctions on The Gambia, stressing that cooperation on readmission with The Gambia remains insufficient with regard to the assistance provided in the identification of Gambian nationals illegally staying in the EU.

“The council further notes that cooperation on readmission with The Gambia remains insufficient as well as the timely issuance of travel documents and the capacity and frequency of charter flights to allow for a sustainable reduction of the number of Gambian nationals illegally staying in the member states,” it stated.

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