European Commission Proposes to Facilitate Issue Process of Schengen Visas

Vladimir Savelyev, 07.04.2014 11:39
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The European Commission has proposed legislative changes that would facilitate issue procedures of Schengen visas, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström said on April 2.

The proposed changes include reducing the time of reviewing an application and making a decision from 15 to 10 days, reducing the number of documents needed to get a visa, the ability to make an online application, and abolition of visa fee for persons below 18 years of age. Those tourists who get two visas over the course of one year will get a 3-year multiple entry visa, and those who frequent the European Union will be granted multiple entry Schengen visas for 7 years. Another proposition is to introduce a ‘Touring Visa’, which will let tourists travel across the countries of the Schengen zone without staying in any one country for more than 90 days over a 180-day period.

Malmström said that 17 million people traveled to the EU countries using the Schengen visa in 2013, while 6.6 million had to cancel their trips due to problems getting a visa. Easing visa regime for Schengen countries is expected to increase the tourist flow by 40-60%.

The proposals of the European Commission are to be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

“We are hoping that these propositions will soon be discussed by the Schengen countries and will come into effect next year. The new rules will apply to Russian citizens as well,” said Head of European Union's delegation in Russia Vygaudas Ušackas.

However, Crimean residents will only be able to get EU visas in Ukraine, since the EU considers Crimea a part of that country. Will it mean that Schengen consulates in Simferopol will be closed down?..

In January of 2013 the EU member countries approved a common list of documents that are necessary for getting a Schengen visa. Pursuant to this decision, each Schengen country is to have identical document requirements for getting the EU visa, but these common rules are still not being implemented.

Companies Travelsystem and Vremia-Tour told TRN magazine that each EU country still had its own rules for issuing a Schengen visa.

Страны, регионы и города: Europe, Russia, Ukraine
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