Financial risks

Are you wondering how much it costs to reach Europe from Turkey and Serbia when you don’t have the required visa? The price of an irregular journey to a European country is not fixed. The amount you pay will depend on several factors, such as the route you take, the smugglers you use and the type of transport. The fees generally only cover the transportation, whereas smugglers charge extra for accommodation, food and water. Prices may vary depending on the time of year and nationality of migrants.

Usually migrants set off on a journey with a price in mind, but as they travel, the amount of money they owe increases. This might happen, for example, because migrants are robbed by criminal gangs along the route or have to pay bribes. Many  migrants are duped into paying their life savings to smugglers, only to be stranded in a country outside the European Union. 

If you’re considering continuing your migration journey from Turkey and Serbia to reach Europe, reading about the financial costs could help you make a more informed decision about your future.

Migrants attempting to cross the Turkey-Greece border report paying smugglers between EUR 165 and EUR 250 per person to reach Greece.

Smugglers can charge up to EUR 1,500 to travel from Serbia towards Hungary or Croatia which puts migrants in huge debt. This cost is on top of the money many migrants have already paid for their journey so far, which can be anywhere from EUR 4,000 to 10,000.

If migrants reach European shores, they will most likely have to continue to travel to reach their final destination. Travelling in Europe is expensive and people smugglers charge high prices for unsafe vehicles. For example, some migrants report paying up to EUR 600 to travel from Hungary to Austria.  

Living costs around Europe vary considerably, but they are generally higher than in the home countries of migrants. Unemployment among irregular migrants in European countries is also high, so it’s difficult to pay off debts while covering living costs. Although migrants with a legal status may benefit from state support to access healthcare, education and housing, irregular migrants are not usually eligible for this assistance, thus unemployment amongst asylum seekers is high. This makes it very difficult to earn back the money spent on the trip. Even those who are successful in their application to remain have no guarantee of making back the money they spent getting there.

Learn more about life in Europe as a migrant.