EP, council agree on new rules for short-stay visas
The European Parliament and the European Council have informally agreed on new rules for issuing short-stay visas to nationals of more than 100 non-EU countries traveling to the EU.
According to a statement by the parliament, the general visa fee will be raised from €60 ($69) to €80 ($91) “with a possible reduction for people under 18-year-old, children under 6, students and researchers will continue to be exempted of visa fee.”
Visa applications will have to be submitted between six months (instead of the current three months) and 15 days ahead of the trip.
“Procedures for bona fide travelers will be simpler, and there will be a direct link between visa and migration policy,” the statement said.
EU member states will also have to “work with external service providers to manage visa requests in non-EU countries where they are neither present nor represented; and additional facilities for well-known artists and high-performance athletes touring in the EU, and multiple entry visas for frequent travelers,” it added.
According to the statement, the main purpose of the changes is to “facilitate legitimate travel for tourism, trade, and business, whilst preventing irregular immigration and contributing to internal security.”
The informal agreement will now be voted in the Civil Liberties Committee and will also require to be confirmed by plenary before formal adoption by the Council of Ministers.