Upcoming amendments Schengen Visa Code

In June of last year The Council of the European Union adopted amendments to the Schengen Visa Code in an effort to improve conditions for legitimate travelers. The new code, which will enter into effect on February 2nd 2020, will allow for faster and clearer procedures for Schengen Visa applicants.

The changes in the Schengen Visa Code will make it possible for third-country nationals to apply for their Schengen visa up to six months in advance instead of the current three months (but no later than 15 days before their planned trip). In addition, applications may be completed and signed electronically. Frequent travelers to the Schengen area with a positive visa history will be able to receive a multiple-entry visa with a gradually increasing validity period; from one year to five years maximum. This time-and cost-efficient procedure will benefit both applicants and member states.

The new Schengen Visa Code also involves an increase in visa fees. The standard fee will be raised from EUR 60,- to EUR 80,-. For children aged 6-12 years fees will amount to EUR 40,- (currently EUR 35,-). For a number of third countries that are part of the Visa Facilitation Agreements with the EU, such as Russia, the current visa fee of EUR 35,- will remain in place.

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