Immigration: Switzerland Becomes the First Schengen Member to Adopt Increased Visa Fees

Immigration: Switzerland Becomes the First Schengen Member to Adopt Increased Visa Fees

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

Switzerland VisaAfter the European Parliament adopted a proposal on the amendment of the EU Visa Code, the Federal Council of Switzerland has moved on to become the first Schengen member to  align its corresponding regulations with the updated visa code.

According to a press release of the Swiss Federal Council, the conditions for issuing visas will be adjusted, including higher visa fees.

At its meeting on 14 August 2019, the Federal Council decided to align the corresponding regulations with the amended European Visa Code. Key changes include linking the visa and return policy, increasing visa fees and accelerating visa procedures,” the press release reads.

It further explains that starting from February 2, 2020, applicants for a Schengen visa to Switzerland will need to pay higher fees.

Today, the Federal Council has implemented these changes in Swiss law by revising the Ordinance on Immigration and Visa, the Fees Ordinance on the Immigration and Integration Act and the Regulation on the Issue of Travel Documents for Foreigners,” the notice reads.

The proposed amendments to the Schengen Visa code have been approved by the Council of the European Union on June 6 this year.

The amendments have been backed in a bid to facilitate traveling to the Schengen Area for tourism, trade and business, and at the same time to contribute to internal security.

The new code increases the price of a short-stay visa from 60 euros to 80 euros, in order to increase the tools available to respond to the challenges posed by illegal migration. It also introduces a mechanism that assesses whether the visa fees should change or remain the same, for every three years.

The new code obliges EU member states to work with external service providers for visa admission, in the non-EU countries where they are not present or represented by another country. Multiple-entry visas will be available for frequent travelers to the Schengen Zone, and additional facilities will be made for well-known artists and high performance athletes touring in the EU.

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