Progress on the visa application process in the European Unionduguech
Most of the European Union countries have suspended the visa application process for non-essential travel in relation to third countries; in many cases indefinitely, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to face the pandemic.
However, once the restrictions on non-essential travel are lifted, Member States must implement the resumption under the following principles, as noted by the European Commission in its official journal:
Application of the Visa Code
Visas that are valid for the Schengen area, as well as visas for multiple entries, must be granted under the general provisions. There is no legal basis for issuing visas of limited territorial validity.
EU member countries should refrain from restricting the duration of the validity of visas, as this measure does not serve to prevent the spread of coronavirus or prevent its spread.
Applicants must have access to clear and timely information regarding the new biosecurity measures in the areas designated for the processing of visa applications in all EU Member States. This information must also be provided to applicants by external service providers.
Similarly, the applicant must receive detailed information on the responsibility he has as a traveler. At the time of delivery of the passport, the consular office must be precise regarding the biosafety regulations that apply in the EU.
The traveler must be clear that having a visa does not exempt him from complying with the additional restrictions of each member country, and that they apply regardless of the traveler’s nationality.
For reasons of solidarity, the Commission notes that in the event of temporary capacity problems in some consulates, Member States will have to conclude ad hoc representation agreements.
In order to allow travelers to submit their applications in the countries of residence, the application of existing representation arrangements, including visas for Member States that are neither present nor represented in a locality, should be resumed.
Coordination and exchange of information
When resuming coordinated visa application processing, EU Member States should achieve optimal harmonization and flow of information at local level, and exchange best practices on tailored working methods, including those of service providers outsiders with whom they cooperate.
This in order to avoid informational chaos, as well as misinformation and the collapse of applications that can be submitted. Travelers fear that if there is a new confinement, it will be given short notice as it happened in March, and that there will be an immediate closure of consulates and external service providers.
Coordination and mutual information are also essential in the event that more stringent travel measures need to be reinstated in the near future.
If you need more information regarding the application for visa procedures in the European Union, do not hesitate to contact Duguech & Dip.
This information does not constitute under any circumstances legal advice, serving only for informational purposes. In case you need professional services in Global Immigration and Mobility, please contact us.
* It should be taken into account that the regulations of any of the countries analyzed, as well as the established procedures, may change at any time and without prior notice.
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