Authorities in Mali have suspended the issuance of visas to French citizens, the Foreign Ministry has confirmed.
The decision came as a response to the French Foreign Ministry, who recently classified Mali in the red zone, following the supposed “strong regional tensions” and was considered by Mali’s Foreign Ministry as reciprocal.
French authorities suspended the issuance of visas and also closed the visa centre located in Mali’s capital, Bamako.
“In application of reciprocity, the ministry suspends, until further notice, the issuance of visas to French nationals by the diplomatic and consular services of Mali in France,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Relations between France and Mali have been rocky since soldiers in the former colony gained power in the 2020 and 2021 military coups.
Besides, France withdrew its forces last year following the military junta leaders’ decision to bring in mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group.
When planning to travel to France, nationals of Mali must apply for a visa at first, regardless of the length of their stay or their travel document, unless they obtain a valid residence permit authorising them to reside in France or another Schengen Zone country.
For short-stay visa applications, persons are required to submit their application at least 15 days before the planned date of their departure.
Citizens of Mali planning to apply for a Schengen visa are required to pay a €80 fee, while for children between the ages of six and twelve are subject to a reduced Schengen visa fee of €40. Children under the age of six are exempted from Schengen visa fee payment.
Besides, the following categories are also exempted from the requirement to pay a fee when applying for a Schengen visa:
- Citizens of Mali holding diplomatic, official or service passports travelling to European countries for official purposes
- A family member of an EU/EEA national
- Malian pupils, as well as graduate and postgraduate students together with their children travelling to Europe for educational training and study purposes
- Malian researchers travelling to perform scientific research
However, if Malian applicants file their request through a private application agency, they will be required to pay more than the standard fee for a Schengen visa application. This comes after these agencies schedule appointments and submit the required documents at a Schengen embassy or consulate on behalf of the applicant.
Thus this will charge people for additional services, and they may be required to pay an extra amount per application.