The European Commission has proposed a significant set of reforms to make it easier for travellers to obtain tourist and business visas, according to a report in New Europe.
The Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos announced a series of amendments to the Visa Code – the first steps towards reforming the common EU visa policy.
The proposed overhaul would shorten the decision-making time for visa applications from 15 to 10 days and allow travellers to submit their applications up to 6 months in advance instead of the current 3 months, and allow passport holders to fill in and sign their applications electronically.
A new type of short-term, single-entry visas with a seven-day validity in the issuing Member State will be available at external borders to help countries increase the size of their short-term tourist numbers.
The Commission proposes a “moderate increase of the visa fee” of €20, from €60 to €80. The 25% increase will allow the EU countries to ensure stronger security screenings, upgrade their IT equipment, and software and maintain the officers in place.