On June 6th The EC Justice and Home Affairs Council adopted a revised Visa Code. The changes include improvements to the visa procedures for legitimate travellers. The new regulation also aims to tackle illegal migration, by the introduction of readmission conditions. Legitimate travellers will now benefit from faster and clearer procedures, such as:
possibility to lodge applications up to 6 months, and no later than 15 days, before the trip;
option to fill in the application form online and signed electronically (provided the applicant has been taken biometric information before);
a harmonised approach to the issuing of multiple entry visas to regular travellers with a positive visa history for a period which increases gradually from 1 to 5 years.
Having been unchanged for many years, the EU decided and agreed for the costs of a visa to increase from 60 to 80 EUROS.
The new rules do not make any changes to the rule that the visit of third-country nationals is limited to a 90 day stay in the Member States in a period of 180 days. This remains an obstacle for touring artists and cultural professionals whether they require a visa or are visa-exempt third country nationals. Pearle*, the European association of employers in the arts, continues to advocate for a change of this limitation.