Nigeria Contributes €3.4m to EU Annual Visa Rejections, poor leadership and bad policies blamed

By William Iro Mark

This report highlights the significant revenue generated by the EU from rejected visa applications, with African countries, especially countries with bad leadership frustrating economic policies sending the citizenry away from homeland albeit bearing a disproportionate burden.

The European Union has generated €3.4 million from rejected Schengen visa applications from Nigeria in 2023, contributing to a global total of €130 million from rejected visa applications, mainly from African and Asian countries. African nations bear the brunt of visa rejections, with Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria facing high rejection rates of 40-50%. 

These figures do not account for additional costs incurred by applicants, such as lost business and leisure travel opportunities, legal fees, and private agency charges. Marta Foresti, founder of LAGO Collective, highlights the impact of visa inequality, stating, “Visa inequality has tangible consequences, and the world’s poorest pay the price.” She notes that rejected visa costs can be seen as “reverse remittances,” with money flowing from poor to rich countries.

The EU attributes half of all irregular migration to visa overstays and has started using visa restrictions as a political tool for countries with low migrant return rates.

 In 2023, over 83,000 non-EU citizens were deported, reflecting a return rate of 19%. The EU has imposed visa sanctions on Ethiopia and lifted restrictions on The Gambia due to its improved migrant return rate. However, the phenomenon of “reverse remittances” persists, with non-refundable fees for rejected visas.

The rejection rate is expected to rise in 2024, as the EU visa application fee for adults will increase from €80 to €90 on June 11. Meanwhile, the UK raised £44 million (€50 million) from rejected visa fees. 

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