UK, Schengen Countries Make Millions Off Rejected Visas: Report

Tue Jun 11 2024
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LONDON: The United Kingdom (UK) and Schengen states raised millions of pounds and euros in fees from rejected visa applications from Pakistan. According to a new research published this month by Lago Collective, a community of researchers, policymakers and designers, suggests that Pakistanis spent £5.3 million on rejected UK visa applications, with close to 40 % applications rejected from Pakistan in 2023.

In the same year, about 50pc of Schengen visas from Pakistan were also rejected, with €3.344m spent on applications and process.

UK Schengen Countries Make Millions Off Rejected Visas Report 2

The data was published in collaboration with the EUobserver, which reported that EU governments collected in €130m per year in rejected visa application fees, which were labeled as ‘reverse remittances’.

The study compiled by Marta Foresti and Otho Mantegazza at Lago Collective suggested that the cost of Schengen visa rejections in 2023 was €130m.

Dawn cited Foresti Foresti, founder of Lago Collective as saying that visa inequality has very tangible costs and the world’s poorest pay the price. The stated added, “You can think of the costs of rejected visas as ‘reverse remittances’, money flowing from poor nations to rich countries. We never hear regarding these costs when discussing aid or migration, now it is time to change that.

UK Schengen Countries Make Millions Off Rejected Visas Report 1

Foresti stated that the rejection rate for short-term visa applications from Pakistan is high, at about 40pc for both Schengen nations and the UK, resulting in very high costs for all involved.

“Yet the challenges faced by Pakistanis to reach Europe through legal means became tragically clear a year ago when hundreds passed away in the Greece boat capsize. People have no option but to resort to dangerous journeys,” Foresti said.

The EUobserver report stated the total sum is expected to increase in 2024 since the visa application fee to travel to the EU countries will increase from 80 to 90 for adults on June 11. It stated the UK also raised £44m in rejected fees, which are non-refundable regardless of the results. Asian and African nations bear 90pc of the costs for rejected Schengen visas.

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