European Union will simplify short-stay visa procedures

European Union will simplify short-stay visa procedures

PanARMENIAN.Net - The EU will simplify procedures for requesting and issuing short-stay visas and will use the visa policy to encourage non-EU countries to cooperate on migration, the European Interest reports.

Parliament and Council negotiators on Tuesday, January 29 informally agreed on a new EU Visa Code, establishing the procedures and conditions for issuing visas to nationals of more than one hundred non-EU countries travelling to the EU for short periods (up to 90 days in any 180-day period).

The main purpose of the reform is to facilitate legitimate travel for tourism, trade and business, whilst preventing irregular immigration and contributing to internal security. Procedures for bona fide travellers will be simpler, and there will be a direct link between visa and migration policy.

Currently, travellers from 102 countries and 2 other entities are required to have a visa in order to enter the EU. The number of visa applications has increased by 50% in the last few years, from 10.2 million in 2009 to 15.2 million in 2016.

Visa applications will have to be submitted between six months (instead of the current three months) and 15 days ahead of the intended trip, except for seafarers who will be allowed to submit applications nine months in advance.

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