Migration and Home Affairs

EU visa policy: Commission welcomes final adoption of strengthened visa rules

Thursday, 6 June, 2019

Today, the Council formally adopted revised EU rules on Schengen visas, which will make it easier for bona fide travellers to obtain a visa for short stays, whilst maintaining security standards and reducing irregular migration risks. The adopted text will shortly be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and the new rules will become applicable approximately 6 months later.

The changes agreed today provide for more flexible procedures, for instance, travellers can now submit their visa application up to 6 months before a planned trip (previously 3 months). A small increase of the visa fee (from €60 to €80) will be introduced to allow Member States to maintain sufficient levels of resources to process applications. In addition, the EU will now be able to adapt the rules on processing visa applications depending on whether a non-EU country cooperates satisfactorily on the return and readmission of irregular migrants, for instance as regards processing time, the visa fee or the issuance of multiple-entry visas.

Currently, citizens from 105 non-EU countries and entities are required to hold a visa when travelling to Schengen area for short-stay visits (the full list is available here). A factsheet is available online.