EU strengthens visa code regulations to improve access for travellers

    EU updated (20-Feb-2019) visa code regulations to improve conditions for travellers and increase the tools available to respond to the challenges posed by illegal migration. New rules will provide faster and clearer procedures for travellers in the Schengen zone, including:

    • Allowing for the lodging of applications up to six months and no later than 15 days before the trip;
    • Providing for the possibility of filling in and signing application forms electronically;
    • Introducing a harmonised approach to issuing multiple entry visas to regular travellers with a positive visa history for a period which increases gradually from one to five years.

    Visa fees will be increased to EUR80 to ensure member states can better cover the costs of visa processing. The regulation should also contribute to improving cooperation with third countries on readmission by introducing a new mechanism for using visa policy as leverage. [more – original PR]