The European commission has made important changes to Schengen visas. The EU rules on short-stay schengen visas apply worldwide from 2 February 2020 which applies for 105 country nationals.
As per new changes implemented in schengen visa rules, it is possible to get 5 year multiple entry schengen visas for applicants from 105 countries with a positive visa history. The validity for these short stay visas increased from 1 year to 5 years, makes it easy for schengen visa holders saving time and money and more easier to frequently travel to EU schengen states.
The Uniform short stay less than 90 days (tourist, business, studies). France, Spain, Italy, Germany are the top countries issuing most number of schengen visas. A uniform short-stay visa issued by one of these countries covers travel throughout the 26 Schengen countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Only persons with a positive visa track record will be issued multiple-entry visas with a long validity. Multiple-entry visas allow the holder to travel repeatedly to the EU during the period of validity of the visa.
The Visa decisions at the consulate are made within 15 days. The Schengen visa fee is 80 euro.
The Multiple entry schengen visas (MEV) comes with added benefit, allowing you to travel to non-schengen countries such as Romania, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia but only with multiple entry so that you can exit and enter.
As of 2020, 22 of the 27 EU member states participate in the Schengen Area and there are also countries will likely join the schengen in the future as a part of schengen expansion plans.
Here are the full list of countries that require schengen visas
Source: European commission and FAQs
How do i know which consulate to apply?
Here are the rules you should keep in mind, and select the consulate accordingly
- Applicants planning to visit several Schengen states must apply at the consulate of the country where they will spend the longest period.
- Applicants planning on visiting several Schengen states for equal lengths of stay must apply at the consulate of the country whose external borders they will cross first when entering the Schengen area.
- In case the Schengen state of destination has no consulate in the country where the applicant resides, the applicant should check whether it is represented by another consulate.
Can applications filed electronically?
The schengen application form can be filled in and signed electronically. Under the new rules, applicants have to appear in person only when fingerprints are to be collected (i.e. every 59 months).
Are consulates open during Covid-19?
It depends on which schengen state you apply. Please check with the consulate or refer to ministry of foreign affairs. You can keep track on covid-19 lifting of restrictions in Re-open EU website
What is the difference between C and D visas?
A C visa is a short term visa valid for 90 days or less. D visas are issued for long term validity (over 90 days or more) given to those who seek residency.
How visa decisions are made by consular officers?
This is a very important question and you should prepare your documentation well beyond any doubts to avoid refusals.