New Schengen Visa Rules Start Applying on Sunday, Feb. 2
As of February 2, the first Sunday of the month, all Embassies, Consulates and visa centers granting Schengen visas started applying the new visa rules, which among others include increased visa fees by 33%.
Due to the implementation of the updated Schengen Visa Code, which came into force on the last Sunday, several rules regarding the Schengen visa application has changed in all countries in the world where Schengen embassies grant this type of visa.
The rules changing are as follows:
1. Visa fees have increased for all applicants
Applicants that used to pay €60 per application will now need to pay €80, while children aged 6 to 12 will that had to pay €35 will now need to pay €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.
2. Application form can now be signed and submitted electronically
The EU has instructed the Member States to allow applicants to complete and submit application forms electronically, where 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.
3. Applying six months in advance of a trip is now possible
The updated code makes it possible for travelers to apply six months before their trip.
Whereas seafarers in the performance of their duties can submit their application nine months prior to their intended arrival at any Schengen port.
4. Schengen Members to outsource visa application in every country
With the new code, the Schengen Member States will be present in more countries, so that travelers will no longer have to travel to a neighboring country just to file an application.
5. More benefits for frequent travelers with a positive visa history
Frequent travelers to the Schengen Area, either for business, tourism, or other short-term purposes, will benefit most from the new rules for Schengen Visa application. These travelers will be granted with the benefit of getting a multiple-entry visa valid for up to five years, given that have a positive visa history.