Muscat: Citizens and residents in Oman, starting from next month, will have to pay more for Schengen visas while travelling to European countries.
This information was given on the official website of VFS Global in Oman that manages visa application centres for France, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, The Netherlands, Canada, and also provides a range of services to make applying for a visa as simple and quick as possible.
According to the statement put up by the Schengen visa application managers in the country, the fee will increase from 60 euros (approx OMR25) to 80 euros (approx OMR34) from next month.
“As of February 2, 2020, the Schengen visa fee per person (Short Stay Visa) will increase from 60 to 80 euros or the equivalent amount in your local currency. For children between 6-12 years old the visa fee will increase to 40 euros or the equivalent,” the statement read.
It is to be noted that the change in the fee structure will be observed across the globe for those passport holders who require a Schengen visa to enter Europe.
The Schengen visa is the most common visa for Europe. It enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries. There are no border controls within the Schengen Zone.
The Schengen zone includes 26 countries that have signed the Schengen agreement, and each member country of the Schengen zone can issue Schengen visas.
The countries that comes under Schengen agreement includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
A local tour operator in Muscat, talking to the Times of Oman about whether the increase in fees may have an impact on the demand of Schengen visa, said: “European countries are always in demand among the citizens and residents of Oman. As I have been in business for over a decade now, I think a slight change in fee may not stop people from travelling to Europe. But, yes, it may add to their expenses.”
An expat living in Muscat is hoping that with the increase in the fee to acquire a Schengen visa, the duration of the visa also extends.
“To be honest, I am not happy with the change in fee as Europe on its own is quite expensive. However, now that it has happened, I hope that the authorities consider extending the duration at least so we don’t have to apply for it over and over again,” Khurram Durrani, an expat said.
For more details check out https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/