MEPs voted today in favour of simplifying existing visa application rules for non-EU nationals when travelling to Europe. The aim of the reforms is to make Europe a more attractive destination for bona fide travellers and to better respond to the current migratory and security situation on the continent.
The proposals include:
- increasing the Schengen visa fee from 60 to EUR 80, to provide sufficient financial resources for visa processing (with discounted rates for minors)
- applications can be submitted 9 months before the start of the intended journey (instead of the current 6 months);
applicants can use any EU consulates when the competent Member State’s consulate is more than 500 kilometres away from their residency
- travel medical insurance will no longer be obligatory when applying for a short stay visa
- the new visa policy will be linked to readmission cooperation of third countries and broader EU external policy
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