The Schengen visa rules will change in February 2020.

The Schengen visa is one of the most famous visas in the world, giving tourists the possibility of travelling to 26 European countries, with 22 of these being part of the European Union.

Schengen Visa Info reports that the number of Schengen visa applicants has been steadily increasing every year.

Currently, travellers from 104 countries and entities need to obtain a visa to enter the EU for stays up to three months within the Schengen Zone.

The Schengen visa has often been dubbed as hard to obtain, but the EU will now change some of the rules to the Schengen Visa Code that regulates visa issuance and benefits. This code – which came info force in 2010 – is a set of rules that regulates application procedures, processing and issuance of short-stay visas to the EU.

According to Schengen Visa Info, the EU is changing the rules “in a bid to facilitate the application procedures for travellers and consulate staff.”

The new rules will reportedly strengthen the common visa policy while taking into account migration and security concerns. The intention is also to “reward countries that collaborated in readmission of illegal migrants and other similar fields, with easier visa procedures.”

All Schengen visa applicants lodging an application file from the first Monday of February 2020 and on, will be subject to a new Schengen Visa Code.

Schengen Visa Info says the new rules will bring several changes to the visa application procedures and improve the benefits that come with a visa.

The main changes foreseen by the updated code are as follows:

  • Higher visa fees
  • Extended application submission periods
  • Electronic application forms in most countries
  • Representative authorities of every Schengen Member must be present in every third country in terms of visa admission after February 2
  • Frequent travellers with a positive visa history to benefit from visas with lengthier validity

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