According to a press release of the EU Council, the Schengen visa fees will increase 33.3% from 60 euros to 80 euros once the amended regulation comes into force. “To ensure member states can better cover the costs of visa processing without constituting a deterrent for visa applicants, the visa fee will be increased to 80 euros. The regulation also introduces a mechanism for reviewing every three years whether the visa fee should change,” says the press release.
After the final adoption by the EU Council today, the new EU Visa regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Six months later, it will come into force and start applying to all third country nationals that need a visa to the Schengen zone. If the final text is published by the end of this month, in January 2020, third country nationals in need of a visa will need to pay 80 euros to apply.
The new rules also permit applications to be submitted for a maximum period of six months, and no later than 15 days, before the trip. So far, the maximum period has been three months. In addition, the EU intends to introduce a harmonised approach to the issuing of multiple entry visas to regular travellers with a positive visa history for a period, which increases gradually from one to five years.
Another important part of the new code is that it also intends to contribute to the cooperation of third countries on readmission through the introduction of a new mechanism for using visa processing as leverage. Through the mechanism, third countries will be assessed continuously regarding cooperation on readmission. Non-cooperating countries can become subject to restrictive visa measures as visa processing and visa fees. Whereas cooperating countries may benefit from reduced visa fees, or an increase in the period of validity of multiple entry visas.