All embassies, consulates and visa centres granting Schengen Visas around the world, have started applying the new visa rules.

Schengen Visa Info reports the new rules – which came into effect on 2 February – include the following:

A 33% increase in fees
Applicants who used to pay €60 per application, will now need to pay €80. Children aged 6 to 12 who had to pay €35 will now need to pay €40. The fee does not change for nationals of countries that have a visa-facilitation agreement with the European Union, for which the fee remains €35.

Application form can now be signed and submitted electronically
Member States have been instructed to allow applicants to complete, sign and submit application forms electronically, where possible.

Applying six months in advance of a trip is now possible
In the past, applicants could file an application as early as three months in advance of their trip. The updated rule, however, makes it possible for travellers to apply six months before their trip.

Schengen Members to outsource visa application in every country
Member States are required to be present in more countries, so that travellers no longer need to travel to a neighbouring country to file an application.

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