EUROPEAN UNION: EU Council Adopts Schengen Visa Code Amendments

On 6 June 2019, the Council of the European Union adopted amendments to the visa code regulation, aimed at improving conditions for legitimate travellers entering Europe for short stays, and enhancing border security.

Once officially published, the adopted text will become applicable approximately six months later.

More Flexible Procedures

  • Travellers will be able to submit their applications no later than 15 days before their planned trip and up to six months in advance (nine months for seafarers), instead of the current three months.
  • Where available, they may also complete and sign their applications electronically.
  • Minors between 6 and 18 years old may be exempted from the visa fee.

Multiple Entry Visas with Longer Validity

Frequent travellers with a positive visa history can receive a multiple-entry visa with a gradually increasing validity period from one year to a maximum of five years, saving time and costs for applicants and member states.

Increased Visa Fee

The standard visa fee will increase from EUR 60 to EUR 80 (from EUR 35 to EUR 40 for 6-12 year olds). However, the lower visa fee, set in Visa Facilitation Agreements between the EU and a number of third countries, including Russia, will remain at EUR 35 (EUR 70 for late applications).

Cooperation on Readmission of Irregular Migrants

Under a new mechanism, the Commission will regularly assess third countries’ cooperation on readmission of irregular migrants and propose more or less restrictive visa measures to motivate or reward increased cooperation.

Our Advice

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to any EU member state, please email us at enquiries@newlandchase.com.