European Union makes short-term visa easier and costlier

The European Union has announced new visa rules on short-stay visas, which are applicable from February 2, 2020. The new rules apply to 105 third countries whose citizens require a visa to enter the European Union. At the same time, no changes in visa policy will occur for countries that have a visa-free travel regime in the EU. The visa fee has increased for all applicants from €60 per application to €80, and for children from €35 to €40. The fee does not change for nationals of countries that have a visa-facilitation agreement with the European Union, for which the fee remains €35. Under the new rules, the application form can now be signed and submitted electronically, wherever possible. This means that applicants will also be able to sign the applications electronically, which signature should then be recognized by the competent Member State. Now, applying for visa six months in advance of a trip is possible, which was earlier only allowed as early as three months in advance. With the new code, the Schengen Member States will be present in more countries, so that travellers will no longer have to travel to a neighbouring country just to file an application. Also, frequent travellers to the Schengen Area, either for business, tourism, or other short-term purposes, will benefit most from the new rules for Schengen Visa application, as they would be granted with the benefit of getting a multiple-entry visa valid for up to five years, given that have a positive visa history, which means they meet the following conditions—They have lawfully used their previous visas; they have a good economic situation in the country of origin; and they have a genuine intention to leave the Schengen Area before the expiry of the visa for which they have applied.

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