Third country nationals will soon need to pay a higher fee when applying for a Schengen Visa to the EU countries. The European Parliament and Council have voted pro a new EU Visa Code, which among others increases the fee for a Schengen visa application from €60 to €80.
According to a press release of the European Parliament, the Parliament and Council negotiators supported the proposed changes, and now the new code will be passed to the Civil Liberties Committee for a vote.
Despite the increase in the price of Schengen visa fees, the press release asserts that such changes have been undertaken in a bid to simplify Schengen visa appliction procedures for requesting and issuing a short-stay visa.
“The main purpose of the reform is to facilitate legitimate travel for tourism, trade, and business, whilst preventing irregular immigration and contributing to internal security. Procedures for bona fide travelers will be simpler, and there will be a direct link between visa and migration policy,” the release reads.
Visa applicants will be able to submit an application six months in advance of their trip, unlike now, which is three months the earliest. The latest one can apply will still be 15 days ahead of their planned trip. Seafarers will be permitted to apply nine months in advance.
Frequent travelers will be able to get multiple-entry visas, whereas additional facilities will be created for well-known artists and high performance athletes. Moreover, there will be a possible fee reduction for people under 18 years old. Students, researchers and children under the age of six will continue to be exempt from the requirement to pay the visa fee.
EU countries will have to outsource visa admission to external service providers in the non-EU countries in which they are not present, or represented.
However, the EU notes that non-EU countries will need to show sufficient cooperation on the readmission of irregular migrants, following a full and objective assessment carried out by the European Commission every year, in order to be eligible for the new provisions.
The Schengen Visa is the most sought tourist visa in the world. In 2017, 16,155,613 people from countries under the Schengen visa regime applied for a Schengen visa.