The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European nations, mainly also based in the European Union (EU), who require a specific visa for admission to any one or more of these countries. Applicants for a Schengen visa to visit one or multiple countries must pay a mandatory fee whose costs can vary depending on a number of factors; this fee is non-refundable even if the visa application is rejected.
There are various circumstances that affect the visa cost, including, but not limited to, the type of visa that is required, the applicant’s age and nationality, and the purpose for which the visa is required. For example, applicants who are intending to carry out academic research in the Schengen zone are usually exempt from any fee; the fee for children and youths varies according to their specific age at time of application.
The fee is composed of two parts, the visa itself and any associated service fee imposed by the issuing party; most visas can be purchased from a designated embassy or consulate, and generally you can use a credit card or cash to pay. However, be sure to check in advance, as consulates in certain locations do not accept credit card payments. In the event of an unsuccessful application, any monies paid are not refundable, so please take care with your application.
There are several payment bands, covering different circumstances and types of applicant:
The “regular” application for adults and children of 12 years and above costs 60 Euros (EUR) for a short stay visa of up to 90 days, and the same amount for an airport transit visa; a long stay visa for duration in excess of 90 days currently costs 99 EUR. The standard visa allows free movement within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days in any six month period, after which the holder must return home.
A reduced fee of 35 EUR applies to children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusive, and nationals from a range of countries including Russia, Ukraine, Kosovo and Georgia. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from payment.
There are also various types of travellers who do not have to pay a fee for the visa. These include those travelling for study and educational purposes – this covers teachers, pupils and researchers. Scientific researchers travelling from third world countries are also exempt from the fee. Finally, a traveller representing a non-profit organisation, under 25 years of age, and travelling for the purpose of attending a scientific, sporting or cultural event also organised by a non-profit company or organisation, is also exempt from any payment.