South Africans to fork out more for Schengen Visa from Feb 2020
All Schengen Visa applicants will have to pay €80 (about R1300) from February 2020, schengenvisainfo.com revealed.
The Schengen Visa, which grants travellers access to 26 European countries, will increase by 33.3 percent. Travellers previously paid €60 (about R960).
According to the website, the new code will introduce a “mechanism that asserts whether the visa fees should change or remain the same, for every three years.”
Those who had to pay €35 will now need to pay €40. Children aged 0 to 6 do not pay visa fees.
It also revealed that some countries that cooperate with the EU in terms of readmission of illegal migrants may also benefit from reduced visa fees.
The new visa code process began when the European Commission adopted a proposal on the revision of the Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 in May 2018.
The code aims to strengthen the common visa policy. It took in factors like migration and security concerns as well as an increase in cooperation with third countries.
The Council of the European Union approved it in June, earmarking February 2020 for the new code to come into effect.
The new rules will bring several changes to the visa application procedures and will improve the benefits that come with a visa.
Some of them include extended application submission periods, electronic application forms in most countries, lengthier visa stays for frequent travellers with a positive history.
The new code also extends the period an application can be lodged, from 3 months to 6 months in advance of a trip.
Travellers will need to apply 15 days before their trip.
The website also revealed that the new code will require all Schengen Member states to be based in every third country via their embassy/consulate, another Member States, or by outsourcing Schengen visa admission to an external service provider.
Travellers frequently visiting the Schengen Area, who also have a positive visa history, will be granted with the benefit of getting a multiple-entry visa valid for up to five years.
The new visa code anticipates using the visa process as leverage to push third-countries collaboration in terms of readmission of illegal immigrants.