February 3, 2020 - 10:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Starting from Sunday, February 2, all Embassies, Consulates and visa centers granting Schengen visas will start applying the new visa rules, which among others include increased visa fees by up to 33%.
The change in regulations will not apply to Armenians who will continue paying €35 per application.
"The increase of the general visa fee has no impact on the lower visa fee (€35) set in the Visa Facilitation Agreements concluded between the EU and a number of third countries, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia," a Q&A sheet posted by the European Commission said.
Due to the implementation of the updated Schengen Visa Code, which comes into force on Sunday, several rules regarding Schengen visa application will change in all countries in the world where Schengen embassies grant this type of visa.
Applicants that used to pay €60 per application will now need to pay €80, while those that had to pay €35 will now need to pay €40. This includes children and other categories that were granted with the benefit of paying lower fees.
The European Union has argued that the visa fee hike brings it in line with the level where it would be today if it had been aligned to the general EU-wide inflation rate since 2006.
It also points out that despite the increase, Schengen visa fees remain much lower than the ones for other countries.
Applying for a tourist visa to the United States costs €143 and €126 for China. Travelers to Australia have to pay €90 for their visa, while those going to New Zealand will be charged €146. A visa to Canada costs €68, to India €95, and to the UK €112 (January 2020).
While so far Schengen visa applicants could file an application ad early as three months in advance of their trip to the borderless Schengen area, now this rule has changed.
The updated code makes it possible for travelers to apply six months before their trip.
*The story has been updated to correct that the change does not apply to holders of Armenian passports