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Community Code on Visa

Clarifications regarding Community Code on Visa, which entered into force on April 5, 2010.

Be kindly informed that the Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2008 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) entered into force on April 5, 2010.

The new legislative instrument (regulation) the Visa Code (pdf, 1,4 MB)  is a major step to further develop a common visa policy and to reinforce cooperation in the Schengen area. Third-country nationals will benefit from a more consistent and transparent application procedures.

The provisions mainly concern transits through or intended stays not exceeding three months in any six-month period (short-term visas).

Beginning with April 5, 2010, the Member States of the European Union will not grant transit visas type B, and national long-term visas valid concurrently as short-term visa type D + C, which was abolished under Article 54 of the European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No.810/2009 on Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).

Instead of those visas will be granted a single visa type C or long-term visa type D.
Previous transit B visa and long-term visa D + C granted to foreigners remain in force for a period specified therein.

Beginning with April 5, 2010, the format of the national long-term visas (type D) is changed – holder of a D type visa is granted the right to freedom of movement to the same extent as holders of a valid residence permit, which means three months in any six-month period.

Following this, a new visa application form for applying for visa for up to 90 days of stay (Schengen visa) will be used from April 5, 2010.

Valid from 1 September 2010, a new visa application form for a stay over 90 days is also used.

For more detailed information please search the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or of the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic.

Harmonization and clarification

The Visa Code (3625/09) further harmonises and specifies in more detail the rules for common visa policy and consular practice in the Schengen States. Amongst other things, it strengthens the guarantees a visa applicant has if his/her application is denied, adds new categories of visa applicants who pay either no fee or a discounted fee for the processing of their visa application, and the obligation of Member States to issue a multiple entry visa with a longer validity period if all applicable conditions are met.

Its main provisions are:

  • It clarifies which Member State is responsible for processing a visa application and defines the different phases for examination and decision taking.
  • It includes new provisions allowing for multiple-entry visas under certain conditions.
  • It lists the documents a visa applicant needs to submit and the procedures for their verification.
  • It harmonizes the fees that can be charged and sets common standards for the service provided, namely non-discrimination and that a decision should be taken within 15 calendar days.
  • It obliges member states to give refused applicants the reasons for their decision and gives them the right to appeal.

Application documents and fees

As a general rule, applicants must appear in person when lodging an application.

They need to submit a number of documents: an application form, a valid travel document, a photograph, a document indicating the purpose of the journey, proof of sufficient means to cover accommodation and subsistence, proof of travel medical insurance as well as information enabling an assessment of the applicant's intention to leave the Schengen territory before the expiry of the visa.

At the time of submission of the first application, Member States should also collect fingerprints and introduce them - along with the photograph - into the Visa Information System (VIS).

The Visa Information System (VIS) is a database where alphanumeric date and biometric identifiers of the visa applicants are recorded. It aims at improving the system for issuing visas throughout the Schengen area. Currently, it is being implemented at Member State level and should be operable at both central and Member State level level during 2010/2011.

The visa fee is set at € 60 for persons from the age of twelve and older and € 35 for children between six and eleven. For children under six as well as school pupils coming to Europe for the purpose of study or educational training, researchers and representatives of non-profit organizations under 25 participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events visas are free. The visa fee may also be waived for children between six and eleven.

Responsibilities, examination procedure, deadlines and right to appeal

For uniform visas, i.e. for visasvalid for the entire territory of theSchengen Area, the MemberStateresponsible for examining and deciding on an application shall be:

a) the one whose territory constitutes the sole destination of the visit;

b) if the visit includes more than one destination, the member state whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit in terms of the length or purpose of stay;

c) if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross in order to enter the Schengen territory.

During the examination procedure, particular consideration must be given to assessing the authenticity and reliability of the travel and other documents submitted and whether the applicant presents a risk of illegal immigration or a risk to the security of the Member States. In justified cases consulates may call the applicant for an interview and request additional documents.

A decision should be taken within 15 calendar days.

In case of a refusal, Member States are obliged to give a motivation of their decision and refused applicants have the right to appeal against the particular member state under its national law. To facilitate this task, Member States have to provide applicants with information regarding the procedure to be followed.

Multiple-entry visas

The regulation also allows for the issuing of multiple-entry visas that are valid for six months to five years. There are two main conditions:

(a) The applicant proves the need or justifies the intention to travel frequently and/or regularly, in particular due to his occupational or family status, such as business persons, civil servants engaged in regular official contacts with member states and EU institutions, representatives of civil society organizations traveling for the purpose of educational training, seminars and conferences, family members of citizens of the Union, family members of third-country nationals legally residing in member states and seafarers;

(b) the applicant proves his integrity and reliability, in particular the lawful use of previous uniform visas or visas with limited territorial validity, his economic situation in the country of origin and his genuine intention to leave the Schengen territory before the expiry of the visa.

Attachments

visa_code_EN 1 MB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) Apr 6, 2010

NEW_APPLICATION_FORM_CZE_ENG_PERSIAN_final 195 KB DOC (Word document) Apr 6, 2010

zov_EN 526 KB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) Aug 31, 2010