Described as one of the best visas in the world to have, granting its holder the ability to travel to 26 European countries, the Schengen visa has recently been changed to make it easier to obtain.
Here are some of the important things to note regarding the updated Schengen Visa Code, which came into effect on Feb. 2 and applies to all embassies, consulates and visa centers belonging to all 26 Schengen member states abroad:
- The multiple-entry Schengen visa allows holders to leave and reenter the Schengen Area as long as they do not remain in the zone for longer than 90 days, within 180 days. According to the updated Visa Code, holders can now be granted one, three or five years of visa validity, depending on their visa and travel record.
- A one-year multiple-entry visa may be provided to applicants who have "obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years". A two-year visa requires the holders to have "obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for one year within the previous two years". A five-year visa may be given to applicants who have "obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for two years within the previous three years".
- In addition to meeting the visa and visit thresholds mentioned above, applicants must meet a few other requirements. They must have a reason why they need to enter the Schengen Area multiple times in the period for which they seek a visa, and they must have a clean visa history, a clean criminal record in their home country and must possess travel insurance for their first trip to the Schengen Area using the multiple-entry visa.
Read also: I used my powerless Indonesian passport to apply for UK visa. This is what happened.
Other changes to the Schengen Visa Code include higher visa fees, extended application submission periods, the implementation of digital application forms and the presence of representative authorities from every Schengen member in every third country. (mad/kes)
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