Changes to the visa requirements will be required by the Netherlands for all travelers applying for a visa in all Schengen embassies and consulates abroad effective February 1, 2020, in conformance to the new Schengen visa code.
Netherlands is the second EU member country after Switzerland to announce the implementation of the changes. Switzerland gave notice of its adoption of the new visa code requirements earlier in August this year.
“As of February 1, 2020, new rules are in force if you apply for a Schengen visa. This is a consequence of new regulations adopted by the European Union,” Netherlands posted in its website netherlandsandyou.nl as an advanced notice to all.
The major changes to the Schengen visa code provide the following provisions:
- Visa application can be done 6 months in advance of the trip date, from the previous 3 months.
- Seafarers will be allowed to apply for visa as early as 9 months in advance.
- Those holding visa or valid residence permit for Dutch territories Bonaire, Saint Eustatius or Saba and autonomous countries Curacao or Saint Maarten, do not need airport transit visa.
- Applicants who now pay a visa fee of €60 will have to pay the increased fee of €80.
- Applicants who pay €35 at present, like children 6 – 12 years old will be required to pay the new fee of €45.
The changes were initiated by the Council of European Union to make travel to the Scheme Zone for tourism, business, and trade smoother and also to help improve in internal security control.
The price increases are intended to upgrade the facilities and tools to combat illegal migration. It likewise provides for a mechanism whereby, a review every three years may be done to determine the need for any changes. It also directs EU members to coordinate and work with external service providers for visa admission, in non-EU member countries where they have no presence or not represented by another country. Additionally, multiple entry visas will be issued to frequent travelers to the Scheme Zone while additional facilities will be set up to handle visas of high profile individuals such as artists and athletes who are touring the EU.