A new Visa Code will be implemented for all Schengen Visa applicants from February 2020. The Schengen Visa fee will also be hiked by 33.3%.
The EU Council adopted the updated Visa Code in June 2019. The new code will apply to all countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement as well as all the European Union Member States.
The new code may also extend the application period from three to six months before the trip. Also, the validity of multiple-entry visas issued to regular travellers may be increased from 1 year to 5 years.
Several EU countries, through email, have confirmed that all Schengen Member countries in implementing the reformed code from the same date.
Lithuania has confirmed that it will be implementing the new Visa Code from 2nd February 2020.
Germany, Finland, Belgium and Denmark have also confirmed the implementation from the same date.
Estonia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has also confirmed the implementation of the Visa Code from 2nd February 2020.
This means that from 2nd February 2020, Schengen Visa applicants will now need to pay a fee of 80 Euros instead of the earlier 60 Euros.
At the same, Schengen Visa applicants will be able to lodge a visa application six months prior to their trip. At present, you can only lodge a visa application three months prior. The latest you can lodge your visa application is two weeks before your trip.
The new Visa Code also puts an obligation on Schengen member countries to outsource visa admission to a visa processing centre or another Schengen member country. Hence, visa applicants to countries that do not have representation do not need to travel to other countries to file a visa application.
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