If you travel to Europe often, or plan on travelling to Europe often, you’re in luck.
Major changes are coming to the Schengen Visa.
If you’re unfamiliar with the popular visa, it’s a short-stay visa that enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries. There are no border controls within the Schengen Zone.
The Schengen Zone comprises the 26 countries that signed the Schengen Agreement, including Austria, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
In other words, it’s a handy visa to have if you’re planning a trip to Europe, and it’s getting even better.
Traveller24 with what we can expect from the upcoming changes:
From 2 February 2020, new revisions will come into effect that were given the green light by the European Commission in June last year.
The new changes are set to make the visa process easier for countries and individuals in good standing with the EU, as well as address the rise in security concerns stemming from migration.
South Africans who visit EU member states often, and who have a good history of returning to their home country, will be eligible to receive multiple-entry visas for five years.
If you behave yourself while you’re visiting Europe, that also works in your favour.
Another great change is that applications can now be done six months ahead of the trip instead of three months, while seafarers can apply up to nine months before.
EU member states will also be obligated to have a representative for their country in every country that requires a visa so that citizens from smaller countries don’t have to travel to a neighbouring country to apply.
On the downside, the Schengen Visa will be more expensive, and will now set you back €80 per application (roughly R1 300), where it had previously been €60 (around R1 000).
Overall, a small price to pay if you want to avoid the hassle of travelling with multiple European visas.
With this good news under our belts, let’s hope Home Affairs is making some progress on expanding that list of visa-free destinations.
If it works out, it could all come together to make 2020 a great year for travel.
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