All Schengen Visa applicants lodging an application file from February 2020 and on, will be subject to the new Schengen Visa Code, which among others foresees an increase in visa fees by 33.3%.
New Schengen Visa Code
The updated Visa Code was adopted by the EU Council in June 2019, and it applies to all European Union Member States and associate countries that participate in the Schengen Agreement.
The new code also foresees the extension of the available application period from three to six months prior to the trip and a harmonized approach to the issuing of multiple entry visas to regular travelers with a positive visa history for a period, which increases gradually from 1 to 5 years.
In an exchange of emails, officials of several EU countries implementing the Schengen Acquis confirmed to Schengen Visa Info that the reformed Visa Code binds all Schengen member countries in starting its implementation in the same period.
“Since Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) is binding in its entirety and is directly applicable in all EU Member States in accordance with the Treaties, all Schengen countries, including Lithuania, will apply it from 2 February 2020,” an official from the Information Monitoring and Media Division of Lithuania explained for SchengenVisaInfo.com.
A German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson also confirmed that the German mission will apply the reformed Schengen Visa Code from February 2, 2020, as well as officials from the Visa Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Press Office Foreign Affairs of Belgium, and the Foreign Ministry of Denmark.
“According to Article 3 of the EU Regulation 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019: This regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 2 February 2020,” a specialist from the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia further highlighted for theschengen.com.
What are the Schengen Visa Fees for 2020?
This means that as of Monday, February 2, 2020, Schengen visa applicants will need to pay a fee of €80 instead of €60 per application as it has been so far.
At the same time, applicants will be able to file an application 6 months in advance of their intended trip to the Schengen area, unlike now, when this period is three months in advance. The latest that an application can be submitted, however, is two weeks.
The new visa code obliges Schengen member countries to outsource visa admission to another Schengen member country, or a visa processing service center in those countries they do not have representation so that visa applicants no longer need to travel to another country juts to file an application.
The new code also introduces a mechanism that assesses whether the visa fees should change or remain the same, for every three years. Another mechanism that will use visa processing as leverage will also be introduced, in a bid to improve cooperation with third countries on readmission.