Kenyans will not be able to travel to 26 European Union countries until September after the processing of the Schengen visa was temporarily halted.
In a statement by the EU dated Friday, July 22, it was noted that there was a high demand for the visa given the summer holidays hence the inability to process the visas.
The 26 countries include Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia, and Estonia.
Others are Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany, Malta and Switzerland.
"Travellers from non-EU countries who need a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen Area might have to cancel or change their summer holiday plans if they have not obtained a visa yet, as there are no available appointments until September.
"Due to the high demand, those who have not applied yet will most likely be unable to find available appointments until mid-September. The travel industry executives have revealed that currently, the 26 Schengen Area countries do not have available slots for July and August," read the EU statement in part.
Further, the EU noted that the challenges had forced Kenyans and other non-EU nationals to opt for travel to other countries such as Malaysia and Egypt.
"Europe might register a lower number of tourists who need a visa this year as they are choosing other destinations to avoid visa hurdles."
However, applicants wishing to travel can still apply for a different type of visa.
"Depending on the reason for the trip, a person can apply for different types of visas," the EU advised.
The Schengen visa allows applicants to visit 26 countries for 90 days without applying for another visa to move from one country to another.
On June 24, the EU refuted claims that it had raised Visa fees for Kenyans after reports indicated that travellers would have to apply for different visas if travelling to other non-Schengen countries through the 26 listed ones.
"You don't need a visa as long as you stay in the airport transit areas. However, if you have a combination ticket that requires you to exit the airport, then you will need a Schengen Entry visa," EU stated at the time.
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