Turks pay 50 mln euros annually for Schengen visa

Turks pay 50 mln euros annually for Schengen visa

BRUSSELS - Anatolia News Agency
Turks pay 50 mln euros annually for Schengen visa

Visa seekers wait in queue in front of the German Consulate in İstanbul.

As Turkey struggles to ease visa requirements for European Union countries, European Commission data has shown that approximately 700,000 Turkish citizens pay a total of 50 million euros annually to obtain Schengen visas.

While the visa application process has been accepted as “unfair” by many European Union countries’ courts – notably the European Court of Justice – in general, Schengen countries require a 60-euro application fee and about 20 additional euros for other operations.

The Schengen countries earn about 50 million euros in visa applications from Turkish citizens every year, the data for 2011 has shown.

The Commission’s data also reflects that Schengen visa applications from Turkey increased to 624,361 by an 11.5 percent increase from 2010 to 2011. The 5 percent of these applications that were rejected did not have their application fees refunded.

The commission’s report said Turkey ranked fourth – after Russia, Ukraine and China – among countries whose citizens apply for Schengen visas. However, Russia and Ukraine, the first and second countries on the list, have signed visa facilitation agreements with the European Union that reduce visa application fees and the rate of rejections.

Turkish citizens apply for visas to the French Consulate most often, with 106,060 applications.