Visa policy: EU updates rules to facilitate legitimate travel and fight illegal migration
The Council recently adopted amendments to the visa code regulation which will improve conditions for legitimate travellers, as well as increase the tools available to respond to the challenges posed by illegal migration.
Better conditions for legitimate travellers
The new rules will provide faster and clearer procedures for legitimate travellers, in particular by:
- allowing for applications to be lodged up to 6 months, and no later than 15 days, before the trip
- providing for the possibility of the application form to be filled in and signed electronically
- introducing a harmonised approach to the issuing of multiple entry visas to regular travellers with a positive visa history for a period which increases gradually from 1 to 5 years.
Covering costs of processing
To ensure member states can better cover the costs of visa processing without constituting a deterrent for visa applicants, the visa fee will be increased to 80 euros.
The regulation also introduces a mechanism for reviewing every three years whether the visa fee should change.
Better cooperation on readmission of irregular migrants
The regulation will also contribute to improving cooperation with third countries on readmission by introducing a new mechanism for using visa processing as leverage.
Under this mechanism, the Commission will regularly assess third countries' cooperation on readmission. Where a country is not cooperating, the Commission will propose that the Council adopt an implementing decision applying specific restrictive visa measures related to visa processing and, eventually, to the visa fee.
On the other hand, if a country is found to be cooperating on readmission, the Commission may propose that the Council adopt an implementing decision providing for either a reduction in the visa fee, a reduction in the time to decide on visa applications, or an increase in the period of validity of multiple entry visas.
+32 2 281 45 48
+32 470 88 21 99
Latest News from
Energy taxation: Council calls for an updated framework contributing to a climate neutral EU06/12/2019 16:15:00
The conclusions are a direct response to the European Council's call to advance work on the conditions, incentives and enabling framework to ensure a transition to a climate-neutral EU, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Financial architecture for development: Council adopts conclusions on the way forward06/12/2019 15:15:00
The conclusions follow up and build on the report by the Wise Persons' group that was established in April 2019 with the aim of recommending possible options for reforming the existing setup for financing development policies.
Joint statement by the Council and the Commission on "stablecoins"06/12/2019 14:15:00
The Council and the EC adopted the following statement:
Money laundering: Council sets strategic priorities for further reforms06/12/2019 13:15:00
The conclusions are a direct response to the EU strategic agenda for 2019-2024 where the European Council calls for "strengthening our fight against terrorism and cross-border crime, improving cooperation and information-sharing and further developing our common instruments".
Capital markets union: Council sets objectives for the deepening of the project06/12/2019 12:15:00
CMU is an EU initiative which aims to deepen and further integrate the capital markets of EU member states. Together with the banking union, the CMU can help boost cross-border capital flows and thereby strengthen the EU economy.
Deepening the EMU: President Centeno's report to the President of the Euro Summit06/12/2019 11:15:00
The President of the Eurogroup, Mario Centeno, has sent a letter to the President of the Euro Summit, Charles Michel, to report on the progress achieved by the Eurogroup on the deepening of the economic and monetary union (EMU).
Leveraging the rail sector for green growth at local and regional level06/12/2019 09:10:00
Local and regional leaders highlight the potential of the rail sector for the EU Green Deal and other key EU policy priorities
Globalisation: how the EU’s trade policy helps to promote human rights05/12/2019 16:10:00
Growing global competition can endanger human rights by for example leading to worker exploitation. The EU uses its trade policy to promote & protect human rights in non-EU countries through preferential trade deals, as well as unilateral trade restrictions.
Malta: MEPs conclude fact-finding visit to assess Caruana Galizia murder inquiry05/12/2019 15:20:00
Following recent developments in the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017, MEPs visited Malta between 3-4 December to take stock of the situation on the ground.
We need an EU strategy in social and affordable housing, says EESC05/12/2019 14:02:00
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for more robust EU housing policies and, at a public conference held in Brussels on 4 December 2019, has asked the EU to adopt urgent common measures in this field: housing policies at European level must make affordable houses available for all Europeans.