Are you planning to travel to the Schengen Area from Nigeria? If so, it’s important to understand the costs associated with obtaining a Schengen visa. The Schengen visa allows you to travel freely within the Schengen Area, which consists of 26 European countries. In this article, we will explore the different types of Schengen visas, the fees applicable in Nigeria, exemptions for certain categories of Nigerian applicants, any additional charges, and the process of applying for a Schengen visa from Nigeria.
1. Types of Schengen Visa and Fees in Nigeria
Before we delve into the fees, it’s crucial to understand the different types of Schengen visas available. The type of visa you need depends on the purpose of your visit. Here are the common categories of Schengen visas:
1.1 Uniform Schengen Visa (USV)
The Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) is the most common type of Schengen visa. It allows you to visit any Schengen country for tourism, business, or family visits. The fees for a USV in Nigeria are as follows:
- Adults: €80 (approximately NGN 36,000)
- Children between 6 and 12 years: €40 (approximately NGN 18,000)
- Children under 6 years: Free
1.2 Limited Territorial Validity Visa (LTV)
A Limited Territorial Validity Visa (LTV) is issued to individuals who are only allowed to enter specific Schengen countries, rather than the entire Schengen Area. The fees for an LTV visa are the same as those for a USV.
1.3 National Visas
National visas are issued for long-term stays in a specific Schengen country. These visas are typically granted for purposes such as employment, study, or residence. The fees for national visas may vary depending on the country and the specific circumstances of the applicant. It’s advisable to consult the embassy or consulate of the respective Schengen country to obtain accurate information regarding fees for national visas.
2. What Category of Nigerian Applicants Are Exempted From Paying Schengen Visa Fee?
While most Nigerian applicants are required to pay the Schengen visa fee, there are certain categories of individuals who are exempted from paying the fee. These categories include:
- Children under six years of age.
- School pupils, students, postgraduate students, and accompanying teachers on study or training trips.
- Researchers from third countries traveling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research.
- Representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural, or educational events organized by non-profit organizations.
- Individuals who have close family members who are citizens of an EU or EEA country.
- Holders of diplomatic or service passports traveling for official purposes.
- Spouses of EU/EEA citizens, as well as their dependent children, under the age of 21.
It’s important to note that even if you fall into one of the exempted categories, you may still need to pay additional charges related to the visa application process.
3. Are There Extra Charges to Schengen Visa Fees in Nigeria?
In addition to the standard visa fee, there may be extra charges involved in the Schengen visa application process. These charges are often levied by external service providers or outsourcing agencies involved in the visa application process. The extra charges may include:
- Service fees: These fees are charged by visa application centers or external service providers authorized by the embassy or consulate. The amount varies depending on the service provider and may range from NGN 5,000 to NGN 15,000.
- Courier fees: If you choose to have your passport and visa delivered to your home or office address, you may need to pay additional fees for courier services.
It’s important to check with the respective embassy or consulate or the visa application center for the exact charges and payment methods accepted.
4. Are Schengen Visa Fees in Nigeria Refundable?
Schengen visa fees are generally non-refundable, even if your visa application is rejected. The visa fees are charged to cover the administrative costs of processing the application, regardless of the outcome. It’s essential to carefully review the visa requirements and ensure that you provide all the necessary documentation to increase the chances of a successful application.
5. How To Apply For A Schengen Visa From Nigeria
Now that we have covered the different types of Schengen visas, fees, exemptions, and additional charges, let’s discuss the process of applying for a Schengen visa from Nigeria. The general steps involved
in the process of applying for a Schengen visa from Nigeria are as follows:
Step 1: Determine the Schengen country to apply to
The first step is to determine the Schengen country to which you should apply for your visa. This depends on the primary purpose of your visit. If you plan to visit multiple Schengen countries with an equal duration of stay, you should apply to the embassy or consulate of the country where you will be entering first or spending the most time.
Step 2: Gather the required documents
Once you have identified the embassy or consulate to apply to, you need to gather all the required documents for your visa application. The specific documents may vary slightly depending on the country, but generally, you will need:
- A completed and signed visa application form.
- A valid passport with at least two blank pages and a validity that extends beyond your intended stay in the Schengen Area.
- Two recent passport-sized photographs.
- Travel medical insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000 (approximately NGN 13,500,000) that is valid for all Schengen countries.
- Proof of accommodation, such as hotel reservations or an invitation letter from a host.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the stay, such as bank statements, sponsorship letters, or a combination of both.
- Round-trip flight reservations.
- Itinerary or travel plan.
- Proof of employment or educational enrollment.
- Proof of marital status (if applicable).
It’s important to check the specific requirements of the embassy or consulate where you will be applying, as they may have additional or country-specific requirements.
Step 3: Schedule an appointment
Once you have gathered all the required documents, you need to schedule an appointment at the visa application center or the embassy/consulate. Many embassies and consulates require prior appointments for visa applications, and walk-in applications may not be accepted. Check the website or contact the visa application center to schedule an appointment.
Step 4: Submit your application
On the day of your appointment, arrive at the visa application center or embassy/consulate on time. Submit your application and pay the visa fee. The staff will review your documents, accept your application, and provide you with a receipt.
Step 5: Attend the visa interview (if required)
In some cases, you may be required to attend a visa interview as part of the application process. The embassy or consulate will notify you if an interview is necessary. Prepare for the interview by reviewing your travel plans, supporting documents, and be ready to answer questions related to your visit.
Step 6: Wait for the visa decision
After submitting your application and attending the interview (if required), you will need to wait for the visa decision. The processing time can vary, but it usually takes around 15 to 30 days. During this time, the embassy or consulate will review your application, verify the documents, and make a decision on whether to approve or reject your visa.
Step 7: Collect your passport and visa
Once a decision has been made, you will need to collect your passport from the visa application center or embassy/consulate. If your visa application is approved, your passport will contain the Schengen visa sticker. Check the visa to ensure that all the details are correct before leaving the visa application center or embassy/consulate.
The cost of a Schengen visa in Nigeria varies depending on the type of visa and the age of the applicant. Additionally, there may be additional charges for services and courier fees. It’s important to gather all the required documents, schedule an appointment, and follow the application process carefully.