Starting 2nd February 2020, the Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 amending the current Community Visa Code will enter into force.
The visa reform aims to facilitate travel for legitimate travelers whilst maintaining security standards and reducing irregular migration risks.
What is new?
- Flexible procedures: As of 2nd February 2020 travelers will be able to submit their visa applications up to 6 months ahead of the scheduled departure date (instead of the previous 3 months), however no later than 15 days before the travel. Seafarers can apply up to 9 months in advance.
- Facilitating for frequent travelers: The new visa rules 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.
- Increased fees: To better cover the costs of visa processing, the visa fees will be increased from EUR 60 to EUR 80. For children between 6 and 12 years old, the visa fee will be increased from EUR 35 to EUR 40.
- Efficient processing: Visa applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days after the embassy or consulate has received the application. The decision period may be extended to 45 days in individual cases and when further scrutiny of the application is needed.