Immigration: EU to Penalize Non-Cooperative Countries on Migration by Restricting Visas

Immigration: EU to Penalize Non-Cooperative Countries on Migration by Restricting Visas

Did immigration issues drive us to Brexit? What is the word on the streets right now?

EU proposes visa restrictions on countries refusing to take back illegal migrantsThe European Union will soon start penalizing countries that refuse to cooperate on the readmission of irregular migrants, through visa restrictions.

Last week, the Council of the European Union adopted the proposed amendments to the visa code regulation, which among other foresee the creation of a mechanism that will improve cooperation with third countries on readmission through a new mechanism that uses visa processing as leverage.

According to a press release of the EU Council, the Commission will regularly assess third countries’ cooperation on readmission.

Where a country is not cooperating, the Commission will  propose that the Council adopt an implementing decision applying specific restrictive visa measures related to visa processing and, eventually, to the visa fee,” the press release reads.

It also explains that under this mechanism, countries found to be cooperating on readmission, may be subject to a Council proposal to adopt an implementing decision easing the visa process for the nationals of that particular country.

The Commission may propose that the Council adopt an implementing decision providing for either a reduction in the visa fee, a reduction in the time to decide on visa applications, or an increase in the period of validity of multiple entry visas,” the press release states.

The new EU visa code also foresees the increase of Schengen visa fees from €60 to €80, the extension of available application period from three to six months prior to the trip, and several other issues. The new changes have been taken in a bid to facilitate legitimate travel and fight illegal migration.

The proposal to update the code had been adopted by the European Parliament in April this year, after informally backing the proposal together with the Council back in February.

Now that the EU council has also formally adopted it, the regulation will soon be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Six months after, it will come into force and start applying to all third-country nationals that need a visa to the Schengen zone.

The Schengen visa is one of the world’s most sought after visas. Only in 2018,over 16 million visa applications were lodged at the consulates of the 26 Schengen Member Countries all across the globe.

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