European Union’s Council on Thursday adopted a decision to increase Schengen visa fees for Gambians by 50 per cent, JollofNews can report.
As of Thursday, Gambians applying for Schengen visa will have to pay 120 euros .
Before the introduction of the new visa fee, Gambians were paying 80 euros but Brussels said the move to top it up with 40 euros is to propel Banjul to cooperate with the EU as regards the return and readmission of unwelcome Gambian citizens within the EU borders.
The EU is apparently not satisfied with Gambia’s level of cooperation in readmitting its nationals, staying illegally in the EU countries.
The union, in its second review of the cooperation of Banjul with Brussels in the return and readmission of its citizens in the EU, saw the need to increase the Schengen visa fees for Gambians because “Gambia’s cooperation was insufficient”.
“The decision is a response to the lack of substantial and sustained improvement in cooperation on readmission with The Gambia. In particular, cooperation on identification and return remains challenging, the timeframe set by the EU-Gambia readmission arrangement has not been adhered to, and a unilateral moratorium on returns by charter flights remained in place until March 2022”, stated the Council.