EU to Introduce Visa Restrictions for Senegal & The Gambia as a Leverage for Readmission of Illegal Migrants

Josep BORRELL, High Representative/Vice President-designate,

The European Union’s Commission has Adopted Proposals to Introduce Visa Measures for Passport Holders of Senegal and The Gambia as Leverage to push these Two Countries to Cooperate more on the Readmission of their Nationals who are Currently Staying Illegally in one of the EU Countries.

The Decision was taken on November 9th, and according to the Commission, the measures are part of the annual assessment on the implementation of readmission with third countries, for which the Commission reports to the Council of the EU, SchengenVisaInfo.Com Reports.

While the First Assessment was Published in February 2021, in July of the same year, the Commission Announced the First Visa Measures taken against Bangladesh, Iraq, and The Gambia.

According to this, the Citizens of these Countries would be Subject to Tighter Visa Application Procedures.

“The measures mean that All Applicants have to Submit a complete set of Documentary Evidence and that the 15 Calendar Days Processing Period, as well as the issuing of Multiple Entry Visas, will be Suspended.

The Optional Visa Fee Waiver for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports should also be Suspended,” the Commission had said at the time.

Yet, it had noted that the Restrictions did not strip the Citizens of these Countries from the Right to Apply for a Visa or to receive one.

After 2014, when the EU Dealt with one of the Biggest Migration Waves, its institutions have continuously worked to find new ways to prevent such a thing from happening again, as well as to reduce migration and human smuggling into the EU Territory.

In 2019, the Member States agreed to update the Visa Code to use it as Leverage in Cooperation with Third Countries on Readmission. The mechanism obliges the Commission to assess cooperation on the readmission of Illegal Migrants with Third Countries regularly.

In cases when a Country is Not Cooperating to Take Back Their Citizens Staying Illegally in the EU, as well as not meeting its part to Prevent Illegal Migration to the EU, the latter can introduce stricter conditions for getting a Visa to its Territory for the Citizens of the Non-Cooperating Country.

“The Commission will continue its Active Engagement with these Partners to improve cooperation on readmission,” the Commission says in a statement issued on November 10th.

Aside from Ukrainian Nationals who are granted Temporary Protection in the block due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Main Nationalities Seeking Asylum in the EU are Syrians and Afghans.


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