At a meeting on Wednesday, 1 September, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee showed its support for the modernization of the Visa and Mobility Agreement with Cabo Verde, which, among other things, will reduce the application fee for a Schengen visa.
The committee’s draft recommendation was adopted by 50 votes to 14, with four abstentions.
The new visa facilitation agreement updates an earlier agreement from 2014, which was signed along with an agreement on the return of people staying without a permit. The new agreement affects short-stay visas (for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period), a press release from the commission said.
According to the draft recommendation, the updated text should include the following:
The fee for applying for a Schengen visa should be reduced to 75% of the current fee. The same should be reduced more for children aged 12-18 years. The fee should be waived for relatives of EU citizens or Cabo Verdean citizens lawfully residing in EU countries, students, researchers, participants in sporting, cultural or educational events under the age of 25 and members of official delegations. Cape Verdean residents should be required to submit fewer visa application documents. Visa-free entry permit for EU laissez-passer holders”, issued by the bloc to employees of EU institutions.
The recommendation also provided for the creation of a new mechanism that would determine the period of validity of multiple-entry visas, which has so far been determined based on the traveler’s purpose of the trip.
Cabo Verde is the first African country to enter into a Mobility Partnership with the European Union, part of which was an agreement to facilitate the issuance of short-stay visas to citizens of the Republic of Cape Verde and the European Union (Visa Facilitation Agreement), as well as an agreement on readmission of illegal residents, both of which entered into Effective December 1, 2014.
Since then, the joint committee between the two countries has met on a regular basis to assess the implementation of the visa facilitation agreement.
In September 2019, the European Union Commission made a recommendation to amend this Agreement, and as a result, on February 22, 2021, the EU Foreign Affairs Council decided to sign an agreement with the Cabo Verde authorities, to update the existing Facilitation Agreement. Visa application procedures.
For the updated agreement to enter into force, the entire European Parliament must first approve it.
Data from the Schengen visa statistics show that a total of 6,302 visa applications were submitted in Cabo Verdo in 2020, of which 5,020 were at the Portuguese Consulate in the country and 1,282 at the Spanish Consulate in Cidade de Praia.