Schengen Visa Changes: Increased Fees And New Rules
Effective immediately, Schengen visas are going to cost more than it did last year. Resulting in a 33% increase, the fee to apply for a Schengen visa is now 80 euros for adults and 40 euros for children between the ages of six and 12 years. For children under six, the visa fee remains zero. This increase in visa fee does not impact applicants from countries that have a visa-facilitation agreement with the European Union. Their fees, remains at 35 euros.
This upgrade was made to meet the visa processing expenses incurred by the Schengen countries.
Besides an increase in visa fees, there have also been some changes to the Schengen visa application processes. Currently, travelers from 104 countries require a visa to enter the EU for stays up to three-months in the countries within the Schengen Zone. With an intention to support and encourage assimilation of immigrants into other countries, certain privileges will be offered in the form of easier visa regulations to nationals of these countries. However, a Schengen representative in the form of embassies and/or consulates should be present in that country for them to take advantage of these changes.
Traveling to Europe this Summer?
Schengen visa to mandatory travel medical insurance – Here’s a checklist of everything you will need for your Europe Trip
The following changes are going to be implemented on the Schengen visa starting February 2020:
- Application forms can now be signed and submitted electronically
- Frequent fliers, especially business professionals, athletes and actors will get longer visa validity periods provided they have a clean visa history and no violations like overstaying their visa.
- Frequent fliers with a positive visa history will also longer visa stays with multiple entries starting from one year to five years depending upon good visa-behavior.
- Frequent Schengen visitors also have to prove that they have the financial means in their home country to sustain their trip.
- Schengen visa holders can now apply for a single six-month visa stay as opposed to the three-months previously allowed.
- Applicants can also apply six months in advance of the trip but requires an approved Schengen visa 15 days prior to the date of travel.
- External service providers will be able to charge a service fee, which should not exceed the amount of the visa fee.
- Third countries cooperating with the new rules may benefit from lower visa fees and longer visa validity periods over time. The corollary of this is, per an annual assessment, countries not cooperating with the new Schengen visa rules will face penalties like limited access to visa privileges and increased processing fees.
- Travel insurance is still mandatory for Schengen Visa applicants. They have to provide evidence of having bought adequate and valid travel medical insurance covering the period of their visit. Insurance companies provide a letter of assurance that acts as proof of a Schengen travel insurance purchase.
If you are traveling to any of the 26 Schengen countries, you will need mandatory travel insurance
Here’s an insurance option that fulfills all Schengen visa travel insurance requirements