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Posted On: 1 January 2020 04:40 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:21 pm

Schengen visa prices to hike from February 2020!

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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Starting from February 2020, you will need to pay a higher visa fee to obtain a Schengen Visa, according to Schengen Visa Info.

At the moment, travelers from 104 countries and entities need to obtain a visa to enter the EU for stays up to three months within the Schengen Zone.

The Schengen Visa has often been dubbed as hard to obtain. However, now the EU is changing some of the rules to the Schengen Visa Code that regulates visa issuance and benefits, in a bid to facilitate the application procedures for travelers and consulate staff.

Upcoming changes for visa applicants

The new rules will bring several changes to the visa application procedures, and improve the benefits that come with a visa.

The main changes foreseen by the updated code are as follows:

  • 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.

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.

The new visa fees

The first way how applicants will be affected by the new visa code is through the visa fees.

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.

The new code also introduces a mechanism that asserts whether the visa fees should change or remain the same, for every three years. Some of the countries cooperating with the EU in terms of readmission of illegal migrants may also benefit from reduced visa fees.

Visa application goes electronic

In a bid to facilitate visa application procedures, the updated Visa Code instructs Member States 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, which electronic signature should then be recognized by the competent Member State.

Extended Application Submission Periods

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 f 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.