Major changes have been announced for the European Schengen Visa, which is used by the citizens of 104 nations, including South Africa, Russia, Egypt and the Philippines.
The Schengen zone includes 26 European countries and is home to some of the most popular Mediterranean cruising ports, so these changes are set to benefit multiple yacht crew transiting through the region.
From 2 February 2020, new revisions will see seafarers granted with an extended period to submit their visa applications and frequent visitors will be given lengthier stays.
Extended application submission periods: seafarers can apply up to 9 months before their trip (as opposed to 3 months), with standard applicants also granted an application submission extension of up to 6 months.
Extended visa lengths: Those who frequently travel to EU member states with a good history of returning to their country of origin within the confines of previous visas will be eligible to receive multiple-entry visas for 5 years.
Online applications: Member States should also allow applications to be submitted electronically, where possible.
On the downside, the Schengen Visa will be getting more expensive and costing around €80 per application. Travel and medical insurance will also still remain mandatory.
For more information, visit the Schengen Visa Info website.
Please note: The information provided in this article is believed to be correct at the time of publishing (31.01.2020) and has been verified to be the best of the PYA's ability, however, cannot be guaranteed.