Great News as Europe Announces New Schengen Visa Code

Europe remains a favorite destination for holidaymakers around the globe and especially for Africa and other developing countries. From the eternal city of Rome to the alluring romantic city of Paris, Europe attracts several visitors from diverse backgrounds. What remains a major roadblock to many citizens of developing countries in securing a genuine visa to Europe. Starting from February 2020, the EU has announced some key changes to its visa code that would bring relief to several applicants. Amongst the new changes are the following;

Increase of Visa Fee: The EU by the new policy has increased its visa fee from £60 to £80 for short stay applicants. This represents a 33% increase in the fee. However, it is still on the low side compared to the US and UK and Dubai in comparison to the length of visa validity as against the cost. It’s reasonable to comparatively, say that Schengen visa is going to be costlier. If you have not yet applied for your Schengen visa then please make an allocation for an extra 20 euros                                                                                                                                                           

You Can Apply for Visa Earlier: Prior to the new visa regime you could only apply for your Schengen visa 3 months to your travel date. The new code makes it possible for you to apply for your Schengen visa 6 months prior to your visit. This is welcome news for all travelers because the earlier you get your visa, the higher your chances of getting a cheaper flight for your travel. It is a risk to purchase a flight ticket before getting a visa as no one can guarantee with a 100% certainty that an applied visa will be granted. The safest form of assurance is to wait till you secure the visa before you purchase your ticket however the visa turnaround time at the embassy can be unpredictable and should it delay to a closer date to your departure, trust me, the ticket will be expensive. With this new policy, you can apply for your visa way in advance and secure your visa and still have enough time to search for cheap tickets to buy.  

You May Get A Longer Stay: At the moment the length of your visa validity is at the discretion of the embassy through which you apply. Trust the efficiency of the German Embassy as you are likely to be granted just the amount of days you will require in Europe with not even an extra day to catch your breath. If you apply for three days for a tour, it’s three days you will get. The more generous embassies may give you anywhere from two weeks to 90 days be it single or multiple entries. With the new visa code, travelers with good visa history will be eligible for multiple-entry visas with validity increasing from one to five years gradually. This shall greatly reduce your headache of applying for a Schengen visa anytime you wish to travel to Europe.   

2020 is certainly a year to travel to Europe and you can start by booking a holiday here.

By Michael B. Dwomoh

Travel Consultant.


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