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New EU visa regulations come into force

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The updated rules for issuing EU visas, which should simplify travel to the community and help solve the migration crisis, came into force on Sunday. This was reported by the press service of the European Commission (EC).

“The new EU rules on short-term visas have been applied worldwide since February 2, 2020. They make it easier for legal travelers to apply for a visa to enter Europe, promote the development of tourism, trade and business, while providing more resources to counteract irregular migration flows and threats to the EU’s internal security,” the EC statement said.

Simpler but more expensive

The decision to change visa regulations was made by the EU Council last June. As the Council explains, “the new rules will provide easier and faster visa procedures for legal travelers.”

“They allow the submission of applications six months before and no later than 15 days before the trip, provide the opportunity to fill out and sign the application form electronically, allow multiple visas to be issued for regular travelers with a positive visa history for a period that is gradually increasing from one to five years,”- says the decision of the Council.

At the same time, the EU raises the consular fee from € 60 to € 80. “In order for Member States to better cover the costs of applying for a visa without creating obstacles for applicants, the visa fee will be increased to € 80. The regulation also introduces a mechanism for reviewing the need to change visa fees every three years,” the Council clarifies.

Fight against migration

Regarding illegal migration, “the updated rules will help improve cooperation with third countries (non-EU) in the field of readmission by introducing a new mechanism for using visa processing.”

“Under this mechanism, the European Commission will regularly evaluate the cooperation of third countries in the field of readmission. In cases where the country is not cooperating, the European Commission will invite the Council to take an executive decision using specific restrictive visa measures related to the processing of visas and, ultimately, visa collection, “the Council explains.

On the other hand, “if it turns out that the country is cooperating on readmission issues, the Council may propose an executive decision, which will either reduce the visa fee, or reduce the time for making a decision on issuing a visa, or extend the duration of the travel visa itself,” emphasizes document.

Visas for 105 countries

The updated rules apply to obtaining short-term visas for entry to 22 EU countries that are members of the Schengen zone. These are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

In addition, under the new rules, visas can be obtained in four EU-associated countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. A single short-stay visa issued by one of these countries applies to travel to all of these countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

According to the EC, currently, visas for visiting Schengen countries should receive citizens of 105 countries.

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