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All Germany Visa application centers abroad have warned travelers applying for a short-stay visa to Germany to be aware of the new rules for application, which include increased visa fees, among others.

According to a notice published on the website of these visa centers, as of the first Sunday of February, the New Schengen Visa Code came into effect and started applying at all Schengen Embassies abroad, inducing at the German ones.

From 02.02.2020 the fee for processing a visa application is 80 Euro or for children between 6 and 12 years 40 Euro. Visas for children under 6 years of age are free of charge,” the notice explains, further pointing out that all third-country nationals in need of visas are subject to the new changes.

The changes are a result of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code), which introduces several other updated rules to the application procedures.

The new rules that now apply to all Germany visa applicants for short stays, and applicants for other Schengen visas to any of the Member States are as follows:

  • Travelers to Germany in need of a visa can now apply six months prior to their intended trip. Before February 2, this period was limited to three months in advance. The latest an application can be submitted remains two weeks in advance.
  • As mentioned above, the fee will increase to €80 for applicants over 12 years old, to 40€ for those aged six to 12. The fees will remain 35€ for nationals of countries that have an Agreement on Visa Facilitation with the European Union.
  • The application form has been harmonized for all Schengen Member States.
  • In addition, Germany is obliged, when possible, to outsource visa admission so that applicants do not need to travel to another country where Germany is present, just to file a visa application. Visa admission may be outsourced to another Schengen member country present at the third-country or an external service provider.
  • Frequent travelers to Germany and other countries of the Schengen Area will benefit from a harmonized approach to multiple-entry visas

Changes to the Schengen Visa Code come at a time when Germany has made several changes to the German Employment Regulation in a bid making it easier for foreign talent to come to Germany and close the labor gaps.

As a part of these changes, the government has also confirmed the news that by the beginning of March a new Esports Visa will also be available for esport athletes and coaches.