The Schengen Visa Code has been amended and these new rules on short-stay visas apply from 2 February 2020. Background for these changes are the following: since 2009, the number of Schengenvisa applications has risen from 10.2 million to over 16 million in 2018. At the same time, visa application procedures have not changed since 2010.
The most important changes are:
- Frequent travellers with a positive visa history are to be granted multiple-entry visa with a gradually increasing validity period from 1 year to a maximum of 5 years.
- Visa applications can be submitted up to 6 months before the intended travel (9 months for seafarers). Previously this was 3 months.
- The visa fee increases from €60 to €80. The visa fee for minors between the age of 6 and 12 years increases from € 35 to €40. VFS Global charges a € 28 service fee.
Reason for the increase is that the fees have not been amended since 2006 and according the European Commission a € 60 fee no longer covers the costs of processing applications.
Please click here for the Q&A published by the European Commission on the changes.
Currently, citizens from 105 non-EU countries or entities are required to have a visa. Click here for the full list.