Visa - Temporary visa rules for Gambian nationals
Restrictions regarding the processing of visa applications filed by Gambian nationals applicable to visa applications.
On 7 October 2021, the Council of the European Union decided to suspend certain provisions of the Visa Code concerning the processing of visa applications introduced by Gambian nationals irrespective of the applicant’s place of residence. The Council has also decided on 8 December 2022 to apply an increased visa fee of 120 euros for Gambian nationals with a visa requirement.
The decisions has been made because the EU has found that The Gambia’s cooperation on readmission matters is not sufficient, for which reason action by the EU is necessary. It appears from the decisions that the suspension of the provisions in question as well as an increased visa fee ought to encourage the Gambian authorities to undertake the necessary measures to improve cooperation on readmission matters.
The contents of the two decisions are detailed below.
About the decision on 7 October 2021
The provisions of the Visa Code mentioned below which have been temporarily suspended are suspended in relation to all visa applications introduced as of 1st November 2021 by Gambian nationals irrespective of the applicant’s place of residence.
The following provisions have been suspended:
- The possibility of waiving requirements with regard to the documentary evidence to be submitted by visa applicants, referred to in Article 14(6) of the Visa Code;
- The general 15 calendar days processing period, referred to in Article 23(1). From now on, the processing period will be 45 calendar days;
- The possibility of the issuing of multiple-entry visas, referred to in Article 24(2) and Article 24(2c);
- The optional visa fee waiver for holders of diplomatic and service passports referred to in Article 16(5) point (b). Consequently, holders of diplomatic and service passports must pay a fee when introducing a visa application.
The suspension of the regulations does not apply to the following cases:
- Nationals of The Gambia who are family members of an EU citizen to whom the Citizens Rights Directive applies, and nationals of The Gambia who are family members of a British national enjoying a right of free movement and who falls within the scope of application of the withdrawal agreement.
- Nationals of The Gambia applying for a visa in order to participate in meetings organised by international intergovernmental organisations hosted by a Member State, or international conferences hosted by a Member State.
About the decision on 8 December 2022
As of 8 December 2022, an increased visa fee of 120 euros as provided in Regulation (EF) No. 810/2009 will be applied as a starting point for all Gambian nationals with a visa requirement.
The increased fee does not apply in defined cases. The exceptions can be read in the Council's Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/2459 below.