Schengen Visa Fees to Increase Starting Feb 2020

Published December 30th, 2019 - 11:25 GMT
Schengen Visa Fees to Increase Starting Feb 2020
Some of the countries cooperating with the EU in terms of readmission of illegal migrants may also benefit from reduced visa fees. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
The new code also introduces a mechanism that asserts, whether the visa fees should change or remain the same, for every three years.

Travelers in need of a Schengen visa will need to pay a higher fee starting from February 2020.

“Applicants that used to pay €60 per application will now need to pay €80, while those that had to pay €35 will now need to pay €40. This includes children and other categories that were granted with the benefit of paying lower fees. Children aged 0 to 6 remain exempt from the visa fees,” a statement said.

The new code also introduces a mechanism that asserts, whether the visa fees should change or remain the same, for every three years. Another mechanism that will use visa processing as leverage will also be introduced, in a bid to improve cooperation with third countries on readmission.

Some of the countries cooperating with the EU in terms of readmission of illegal migrants may also benefit from reduced visa fees.

In a bid to facilitate visa application procedures, the new regulation instructs member states to allow application forms to be completed and submitted electronically, where possible.

It also obliges them to allow visa applicants to sign the application form electronically and electronic signature should then be recognized by the competent member state.

Another benefit that the new code brings for visa applicants, is that it extends the period within which an application can be lodged, from three months to six months in advance of a trip.

Seafarers in the performance of their duties can as of February, submit an application as early as nine months in advance of their arrival at any of the Schengen ports.

The latest application can be submitted, however, it remains 15 calendar days before an intended trip to the Schengen Area.

In addition, the EU intends to introduce a harmonized approach to the issuing of multiple entry visas to regular travelers with a positive visa history for a period, which increases gradually from 1 to 5 years.

This benefit will not be limited to specific travel purposes or categories of applicants. However, member states are instructed to have particular regard for persons traveling for the purpose of exercising their professions, such as business people, seafarers, artists, and athletes.

Another important part of the new code is that it also intends to contribute to the cooperation of third countries on readmission through the introduction of a new mechanism for using visa processing as leverage.

Through the mechanism, third countries will be assessed continuously regarding cooperation on readmission. Non-cooperating countries can become subject to restrictive visa measures as visa processing and visa fees. Whereas cooperating countries may benefit from reduced visa fees or an increase in the period of validity of multiple entry visas.

Main changes
* Higher visa fees.
* Extended application submission periods.
* Electronic application forms in most countries.
* Representative authorities of every Schengen Member must be present in every third-country in terms of visa admission after February 2.
* Frequent travelers with a positive visa history to benefit from visas with lengthier validity.


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