Europe is Making it More Difficult for Pakistanis to Get Schengen Visa

Travelers from Pakistan seeking Schengen visas for Europe might face a steeper financial hurdle in 2024. The European Commission’s proposed 12.5% increase in visa fees, if approved, would translate to a significant rise in overall application costs for Pakistani nationals. This blog explores the details of the proposed fee hike, its potential impact on Pakistani travelers, and alternative considerations.

Breaking Down the Proposed Fee Increase:

The draft proposal outlines adjustments across different visa categories:

  • Regular and Minor Applicants: The standard visa fee for Pakistani applicants would increase from €80 to €90, representing a €10 rise.
  • Non-Cooperating Countries: Countries deemed insufficiently cooperative in the readmission process (e.g., accepting expelled individuals) would face even higher fees – €135, up from the current €120.
  • Children: While generally exempt from visa fees in some countries, children’s applications in this case would see a rise from €40 to €45.
  • Extension Fees Unchanged: The fee for extending a Schengen visa within the Schengen zone would remain at €30.
  • Visa Facilitation Agreements: Countries with existing visa facilitation agreements with the EU would be exempt from the fee increase.

Cost Implications for Pakistani Travelers:

The proposed changes could significantly impact Pakistani travelers:

  • Increased Application Expenditure: Based on 2022 data, Pakistani visa applicants spent nearly €6.1 million on applications. With the fee increase, this figure is projected to jump to an estimated €6.9 million in 2024.
  • Financial Burden: Considering the average monthly salary in Pakistan ranges from €67 to €1,195 (with a median of €268), the proposed visa fee (€90) represents a substantial cost. For some, it could be equivalent to one-third of their monthly income.
  • Impact on Specific Groups: The fee hike could disproportionately impact low-income travelers and those from non-cooperating countries facing even higher fees (€135).

Understanding the EU’s Rationale:

The EU Commission justifies the hike by citing inflation and the rising costs associated with processing visa applications from third countries. However, the impact on travel aspirations and economic accessibility for Pakistani citizens remains a concern.

Visa Application Trends in Perspective:

  • High Application Rates: Despite the pandemic, Pakistanis submitted a significant number of Schengen visa applications in 2022. Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands received the highest volume, accounting for 74.1% of all applications (approximately 56,436 requests).
  • Rejection Rates and Variations: Unfortunately, Pakistani nationals also face varying rejection rates across different EU member states. While some countries like Greece, Italy, and Germany show higher approval rates, others like Sweden (74.7% rejection), Spain (36%), and Belgium (38%) have stricter visa application processes.

Navigating the Potential Increase and Alternative Considerations:

  • Planning and Budgeting: If the fee hike comes into effect, meticulous planning becomes even more crucial for Pakistani travelers. Carefully consider travel costs, including the anticipated visa fee increase, to ensure a financially feasible trip.
  • Seeking Guidance: Consulting with experienced travel agencies or visa consultants specializing in Pakistani applications can offer valuable support. They can help navigate the application process, ensure completeness, and potentially increase your chances of visa approval.
  • Exploring Alternatives: While obtaining a Schengen visa remains an option, consider alternative destinations with more relaxed visa requirements for Pakistani citizens. Researching these options could lead to exciting new travel adventures!


The proposed increase in Schengen visa fees presents a financial obstacle for Pakistani travelers. While the EU Commission seeks to address rising processing costs, the impact on affordability for Pakistani applicants requires consideration. By planning effectively, seeking expert guidance, and exploring alternative destinations, Pakistani travelers can still pursue their European travel goals, even in the face of potential fee increases.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like these