New Report Suggests UK, Schengen Countries Are Minting Millions From Rejected Visa Applications

An official from Lago Collective noted that a majority of rejected visa applicants come from low- and middle-income countries, primarily in Asia and Africa. In essence, this process effectively channels money from poorer countries to wealthier ones. Read on for more

It has become a common trend for people in India to pursue settling abroad in countries such as the Schengen nations, the United Kingdom, or Canada. Many individuals either have plans to move overseas or have already made the transition.

However, a significant number of visa applications from India do not get approved. Recent data has shown that the Schengen nations and the UK earn millions of dollars from rejected visa applications. This situation poses challenges, especially for individuals from low-income countries.

A recent report shared that the combined revenue generated by denied visa applications to the UK and the Schengen nations is estimated to be approximately $200 million. This revenue stream is often referred to as “reverse remittance.”

According to EU Observer, the European Union earned around $139 million solely from application fees for rejected visas in the previous year. Similarly, the UK garnered as much as $56 million in 2023 from rejected visa applications.

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The application fees for visas to these countries are largely non-refundable. Therefore, individuals whose visa applications are rejected must bear the costs without receiving much, if any, benefit in return.

An official from Lago Collective noted that a majority of rejected visa applicants come from low- and middle-income countries, primarily in Asia and Africa. In essence, this process effectively channels money from poorer countries to wealthier ones.

According to The Dawn, Lago Collective as saying in a statement, “These costs are just the tip of the iceberg: in most cases, applicants pay more than the basic application fee, with private agencies involved in processing visa applications and brokers providing additional services along the way. The costs of not being able to travel for business and leisure also results into significant losses for all those involved.”

In 2024, the application fees for traveling to the EU are on the rise. Effective immediately, the fees have increased from €80 to €90 per person aged 12 and above. For children between six and 11 years old, the fees have increased from €40 to €45.

Numerous individuals express frustration over the often vague and unclear reasons for visa rejections. Even after addressing previous issues and reapplying, new grounds for rejection are cited. According to reports, Pakistanis alone invested $5.7 million in UK visa applications that were ultimately rejected.

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