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European Union - New Rules on Short-Stay Visas

European Union - New Rules on Short-Stay Visas

Newly effective European Union (EU) regulations are aimed at facilitating tourism and business, while helping to reduce irregular migration and security risks.

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Newly effective European Union (EU) regulations are aimed at facilitating tourism and business, while helping to reduce irregular migration and security risks. The Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas became applicable as from 2 February 2020.1

WHY THIS MATTERS

Immigration counsel and global mobility managers charged with the cross-border movements of their employees in Europe could have new steps and policies to follow concerning the new EU harmonised visa. Their visa fees will also increase. The new rules apply to third-country nationals who need visas to travel to the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland for an intended stay not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.

In order to help ensure compliance, employers and individuals are advised to analyse the full set of requirements prior to travelling for business purposes. 

Background

The EU has a common visa policy for short-stay visits involving a set of harmonised rules. As the visa application procedures have not changed since 2010, there was a need for modernisation, while improving the capacity to detect potential security and irregular migration risks. Regulation (EU) 810/200 was amended to address these concerns.  

What Has Changed

New Application Form

As from 2 February 2020, a new harmonised visa application form is introduced. 

Application Close to Place of Residence

If a member state is neither present nor represented in the third country where the applicant is to file the application, the relevant member state needs to foresee to cooperate with an external service provider in the third country to allow the applicant to file the application there.

Possibility for an Electronic Application

Depending on the country of residence, it can be possible to fill in and sign a visa application electronically. The applicant will then have to appear in person only when fingerprints are to be collected.

Extended Submission Period

The new rules extend the application submission period from three months to up to six months before the intended travel (nine months for seafarers).

Clearer Rules Regarding Multiple-Entry Visas

Frequent or regular travellers with a positive visa history can obtain a multiple-entry visa with a long period of validity from one year to a maximum of five years. Such multiple-entry visas are issued to applicants fulfilling the entry conditions during the entire period of validity of the issued visa according to objectively determined common criteria and not limited to specific travel purposes or categories of applicants. Please note that the travellers’ fulfilment of entry conditions will be thoroughly and repeatedly verified in all cases.

Given the differences in local circumstances, consulates in individual locations can assess the need to adapt the rules on issuing multiple-entry visas to apply them more favourably or more restrictively.

Visa Application Fees

The cost of applying for the short-stay visa is increased and now set at EUR 80. For children between 6 and 12 years old, the fee is EUR 40, however the fee may be waived for children between 6 and 18 years old. In exceptional circumstances when the amount is not sufficient to provide a full service, a higher service fee of up to a maximum of EUR 120 may be charged. The increased fee will have no impact on the lower fees as set out in the Visa Facilitation Agreements.

Improved Cooperation on Return and Re-admission

We note that the EU can adapt conditions for processing visa applications depending on the cooperation with a given third country on return and re-admission.

KPMG NOTE

In case professional activities will be performed by a third-country-national in the member state(s), a work permit or professional card may still be required in addition to the short-stay visa. Furthermore, registration requirements in the  Posted Worker Directive might also be required in the respective member states.2  In certain cases, tax consequences might also arise in the respective countries.

The regulations allow Denmark to opt out; however, Denmark has adopted the new visa rule.3  The United Kingdom is not bound by or subject to these regulations. 

FOOTNOTES

1  Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code). For additional information, see: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas_en.

2  Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services.

3  See December 2019 Schengen visa info press release

*  Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Belgium.

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© 2020 KPMG Tax and Legal Advisers, a Belgian civil CVBA/SCRL and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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