The European Union, yesterday (17th March, 2014), has proposed some changes to the existing EU Schengen visa, to enable easier travel for those belonging to the non-EU countries. If the proposed changes are approved, decisions on visa applications could take about 10 calendar days or less and only under some special cases, would the processing of the visa take longer – about 30 days at most. Under the new visa regime, the documentation required or needed that would have to be submitted or filled by the applicant would also be greatly simplified. And, under the proposed rules, applicants under 18 years do not need to pay visa fees.
This aforesaid proposal was announced in a statement issued by Home Affairs Commissioner, EU, Cecilia Malmström and vice-president of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship. They declared that the move was intended to promote growth and employment in the EU. Under this new proposed scheme, people who are frequent travelers to Europe would be granted a multi-entry visa which would be valid for several years, provided they have had a visa issued to them two times in the last 12 months.
They have also proposed another new kind/type of visa, a touring visa, under which a visa holder could stay in the Schengen area of Europe and travel anywhere in the continent for up to a maximum of one year, with the possibility to extend the same visa by one more year.