New Rules on The Procedures of Applying for a Schengen Visa

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The Schengen Visa code has recently been updated and introduced new rules for the application process. Getting the sought-after 5-year multiple-entry visa for the EU through this new process is now easier and much clearer than before.

In the past the EU Visa Code allowed travellers to obtain a multi-entry visa should they have travelled to any of the Schengen member states multiple times, but the conditions in obtaining this visa was not straightforward and the regulations were complex, even at times difficult to fully understand.

As from the 2nd of February 2020 the new updated Visa Code came into effect and applies to all 26 Schengen Member States abroad, their consulates and embassies as well as all visa centres. This code introduces rules and criteria that all visa applicants have to meet in order to qualify for a Schengen Visa.

The multiple-entry Schengen visa allows the holder to enter and exit the Schengen Area unlimited and multiple times given there is no violation of the 90/180 day rule which means the individual cannot remain in the Schengen zone for longer than 90 days within a 180-day period.

Additionally, the new Schengen Visa code has also been updated with other well-defined and new rules as to who will benefit from these multiple-entry visas. Depending on an applicant’s past travel and previous visa history, the visa code now allows for the granting of one, three and five year multiple-entry visas to individuals.

“…multiple-entry visas with a long validity shall be issued for the following validity periods, unless the validity of the visa would exceed that of the travel document:

(a) for a validity period of one year, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years;

(b) for a validity period of two years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for one year within the previous two years;

(c) for a validity period of five years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for two years within the previous three years,” the updated Visa Code explains.

In order to qualify for and to be awarded a multiple-entry Schengen Visa, the following requirements will also have to be met, aside from a person’s frequent travels to the Schengen area:

  • The applicant must state the reasons for their need to enter the Schengen Area multiple times in the subsequent year/s.
  • The applicant is required to have an unblemished visa history and never have overstayed the validity of any visa in the Schengen area or have unlawfully been employed.
  • The applicant is required to have no criminal record in their home country.
  • Under the multiple-entry visa applied for, the applicant is additionally required to take out traveller’s insurance to cover them during their first trip to the Schengen Area.