On September 27, the European Union (EU) Commission adopted proposals to modify visa measures concerning The Gambia and Ethiopia. The Commission, taking into account The Gambia's progress in readmission cooperation since 2022, has proposed the revocation of the increased visa fee for Gambian nationals. This means that Gambian nationals, who had been required to pay €120 for a visa fee since December 2022, will see their fee reduced to €80 when the measure is revoked.
While the Commission has proposed these changes, it emphasized that the initial set of measures imposed in 2021 would remain in place. The 2021 measures were introduced due to The Gambia's lack of cooperation in readmitting its nationals who were irregularly staying in the EU.
As part of the 2021 measures, the Commission suspended the possibility of waiving certain requirements related to documentary evidence when applying for a visa. It also suspended the option for individual EU Member States to waive visa fees for Gambian nationals holding diplomatic or service passports. The processing time for visa applications was extended to 45 days for cases covered by the measures, and the issuance of multiple entry visas was suspended.
The EU Commission clarified that these measures do not hinder Gambian nationals from applying for and obtaining visas. Instead, they are aimed at encouraging cooperation from Gambian authorities in the readmission process.
In addition to the changes for The Gambia, the Commission also proposed visa measures for Ethiopia to enhance cooperation with the EU on readmission issues. Under the revised Visa Code, readmission cooperation with third countries is assessed annually by EU authorities. The Commission updates EU Member States on the status of this cooperation.
The proposed measures now require approval from the Council. Upon approval, official statements will be issued by the authorities.
By fLEXI tEAM