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GAMBIA: COMMISSION PROPOSES TO REVOKE INCREASED VISA FEE FOR NATIONALS OF THE GAMBIA

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Forwarded by: Salieu Njie

The Commission of the European Union has yesterday, on September 27, adopted proposals for visa measures with The Gambia and Ethiopia.

Taking into account the progress that The Gambia has made since 2022 on readmission cooperation, the Commission said that it has now proposed to revoke the increased visa fee for its nationals, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

This means that nationals of The Gambia, who have been required since December 2022 to pay €120 for the visa fee, will not be required to pay more than €80 once the measure is revoked.

Even though the Commission has proposed this change, it stressed that the first set of measures adopted in 2021 will continue to remain in place.

The decision of the Commission to adopt the measures in 2021 was taken due to the country’s lack of cooperation on the readmission of its nationals irregularly staying in the territory of the EU.

Due to this, in 2021, the Commission decided to suspend the possibility of waiving some requirements regarding the documentary evidence that needs to be submitted when applying for a visa.

Moreover, the Commission also decided to suspend the possibility for individual Member States to waive the visa fee for nationals of The Gambia holding diplomatic or service passports.

The same authority decided back in 2021 to prolong the visa processing time to 45 days for all cases falling within the scope of the measures, and it decided to suspend the issuance of multiple entry visas.

The purpose of the proposed measures is to convince The Gambia to improve its cooperation on the readmission of illegally staying third-country nationals. They are proportionate to the objective pursued.

The EU Commission said in 2021 that the measures imposed against The Gambia do not affect the possibility for nationals of the country to apply for and be granted visas. Instead, it stressed that the measures are only aimed at pushing The Gambia authorities to cooperate in the readmission process.

In addition to the above-mentioned, the Commission has also adopted a proposal for visa measures for Ethiopia to improve cooperation between the EU and the country on readmission.

Under the revised Visa Code, the Commission said that the authorities annually assess readmission cooperation with third countries.

The same noted that the authorities continue their engagement with non-EU countries in line with readmission instruments. Moreover, the Commission also updates the EU Member States on the stand of play of this cooperation.

The proposal of the Commission now needs to be approved by the Council, and once that happens, the authorities are expected to make an official statement on the matter.

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