The Schengen visa fee has increased by 33 per cent, as per the new Schengen visa code that came into effect from February 2, 2020. This means applicants who used to pay €60 (4,751) per application will now need to pay €80(₹6,344), while those that had to pay €35(₹2,771) will now pay €40 (₹3,167).
The European Union has stated that “the visa fee hike brings it in line with the level where it would be today if it had been aligned to the general EU-wide inflation rate since 2006.”
The 26 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Furthermore, applicants will now be able to file their application six months before their trip as opposed to the three month period available before.
With the new visa code, application forms can be signed and submitted electronically where possible.
The revised Schengen visa rules will benefit the frequent travellers extensively. They will be granted multiple-entry visa valid for up to five years, provided they fulfill the following conditions:
- They have lawfully used their previous visas.
- They have a good economic situation in the country of origin.
- They have a genuine intention to leave the Schengen Area before the expiry of the visa for which they have applied.
Besides, the code allows all members, where possible, to be present in every country through their embassy/consulate, another member states, or by outsourcing Schengen visa admission to an external service provider.