Visa policy: EU updates rules to facilitate legitimate travel and fight illegal migration

7 Jun 2019 11:38 AM

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:

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.

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