Schengen Visa Costs to be Increased by Year’s End

The European Parliament has adopted a proposal by the EU Commission to amend the Schengen Visa policy, including increasing the Schengen visa costs, in a bid to facilitate traveling to the Schengen Area for tourism, trade and business, and at the same time to contribute to the internal security.

The Parliament and the EU Council have informally backed the proposal in February, before sending it to the Commission. Now that the Parliament has formally adopted it, it remains for the Council to do the same before the adopted text is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Six months after, it will come into force and start applying to all third-country nationals that need a visa to the Schengen zone.

If the Council approves the amendment of the EU Visa Code within the next two months, by the end of the year all applicants will need to pay a fee of €80 instead of €60 as it is now.

The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Migration and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos welcomed the move, estimating that the new rules will help enhance the EU security standards.

“The new rules will facilitate tourism, trade and business while enhancing our security standards to detect those who pose a threat or have no right to enter the EU. They will also help improve cooperation with non-EU countries on the return and readmission of irregular migrants,” Avramopoulos said.

The new EU Visa Code aims to facilitate traveling to the Schengen Area for tourism, trade and business, and at the same time to contribute to internal security.

It also obliges EU member states to work with external service providers for visa admission, in the non-EU countries where they are not present or represented by another country. Multiple-entry visas will be available for frequent travelers to the Schengen Zone, and additional facilities will be made for well-known artists and high performance athletes touring in the EU.

A press release of the European Commission estimates that tourism and travel industry plays a key role in the European economy, representing around 10% of the EU’s GDP. It also asserts that the benefits of visa travel need to be balanced to adequately respond to security challenges.

“Whilst EU Member States are among the world’s leading tourist destinations, lengthy and cumbersome procedures can deter tourists from travelling to Europe, redirecting investment and spending to other countries and affecting the EU’s economy negatively. At the same time, the benefits of visa travel need to be balanced with measures to adequately respond to present and future security and migration challenges,” the press release notes.

Related Posts