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Schengen Visa fee to hike 33.3% from January 2020

The European Union Council updated the Schengen Visa code on 6th June, 2019.
Currently, the visa fee is 60 euros which will be increased to 80 euros, a 33.3% hike, once the amendments come into force. Travelers will have to pay a higher visa fee of 80 euros, starting January 2020. The press release by the EU Council states, “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.”

Travelers will now be allowed to submit applications for a maximum of 6 months, which was earlier 3 months. All applications must be submitted no later than 15 days from the trip. The new regulations also aim to make the visa application process easier, by providing applicants the chance to sign and complete application form electronically, rather than manually. Regular EU travelers with a positive visa history will have a chance of gradually extending their multiple entry visas from 1 to 5 years.

The regulations also contribute to the co-operation of third world countries regarding readmission by the introduction of a new mechanism, that uses visa processing as leverage.Non-cooperating countries may be subjected to stringent visa processing as well as higher visa fees. On the other hand, co-operating countries could benefit from an extension in the validity period of multiple entry visas, or reduced visa fees.

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