Open Letter to EU about the Visa Regulation

To whom it may concern,

I’m a young person from Turkey who was wishing to apply for Schengen visa from the Spanish Consulate in Istanbul.

Purpose of visit was participating the seminar, under the European Commission Youth in Action Programme, which was going to take place 13th-19th March 2014 in Salamanca.

In order to apply Schengen visa, I took reservation from VFS Global that is Visa Application Company which is Spanish Consulate work with in Turkey.

In the day of application, during the visa interview; I presented all necessary documents to authorized person. She said all necessary documents are complete, only thing that you should pay visa fee and service fee. I’ve stated that I’ve got 5 Schengen visas and 2 visas from non-Schengen EU States before, and I’ve not pay any visa fee for them because I’m under 26, participating in seminars organised by non-profit organization even these are funded by European Commission.

Regarding visa procedure, there is visa regulation passed into law by European Parliament and European Council in 13th July 2009. It covers all of the matters about Schengen visa and the procedure. Article 16 of the Regulation titled “Visa Fee” defines visa fee and waived conditions for applicants. The substance (4) of the Article 16 stated that “The visa fee shall be waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:” and the clause (d) says that “representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.”

Moreover, Article 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union stated that “A regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

For these reasons, I claim that I should not pay visa fee as young person under 26 ages and participant for seminar, and the visa regulation should be implemented in all Member States. Within this situation, I directly communicated with authorized staff of the Consulate and I repeated my arguments by phone, then I sent an email, but they didn’t understand and response. Later, I communicated with Delegation of the European Commission in Turkey and they kindly approached my situation, but after all conservation, they couldn’t help me to solve this legal issue.

As a conclusion, I didn’t make application for Schengen Visa. I’m waiting your response in this situation which is not only my individual problem but also judicial problem of European Union. Even, this attitude of the Consulate is inconsistent EU Law and against to Fundamental values of the European Union. I would like to invite to you enforce the legislations.

Yours sincerely

İlker Girit (ilkergirit@gmail.com)

Annex:

The visa regulation: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32009R0810:en:NOT

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2012:326:0001:01:EN:HTML

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