The decision comes after the European Union Council approved a regulation to “improve conditions for illegitimate travelers.”
In a statement, the EU announced that the Schengen visa fees would increase from €60 to €80 (33.3%) when the approved regulation comes into force.
The EU justified its decision, saying that the visa fee will be increased to “ensure member states can better cover the costs of visa processing without constituting a deterrent for visa applicants.”
The EU added that the visa regulation also introduces a mechanism for reviewing every three years whether the visa fee should change.”
The EU is expected to publish the new regulation in the Official Journal of the EU. The regulation will come into force six months after its publication (January 2020). With the change, third country travelers will need to pay €80 to get the visa.
Schengen Visa Info said that the EU Commission had proposed the amendments in 2018 to ‘make traveling easier for frequent travelers to the Schengen countries.”
The info website added that “another important part of the new code is that it also intends to contribute to the cooperation of third countries on readmission through the introduction of a new mechanism for using visa processing as leverage.”
The Schengen Visa Info website added that the third countries will be “assessed continuously regarding cooperation on readmission,” through the new mechanism.
Moroccan received high number of Schengen visas in 2018. Data published in April 2019 showed that Moroccans received 530,000 Schengen visas last year.
In May, Spain issued a new procedure, asking Moroccans to pay the service charge in advance to get the visas.
Commenting on the new procedure, Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Josep Borrell, who was on a visit to Morocco last week, said that his country was “overwhelmed” due to the high number of visa applications.
“This year we will receive 250,000 visa applications, which is an annual increase of 10% in recent years,” Borell said in a press release following a meeting with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita.
Borell also apologized for the delay in visa issuance.
In mid-May of this year, Moroccans applying for a Schengen visa were facing up to six months of wait times for their visa appointments at Spanish consular services.