Monday 19 April 2010

EU Visa Code and Visa Handbook

Every year, millions of third country nationals come into contact with consular representations of the Schengen states in order to visit one or more of the 25 countries of common travel area. Some 10.4 million visas were issued in 2008.

In addition to the applicants (incoming travelers), the EU (Community) Visa Code affects friends, relatives and businesses in the Schengen states.

Officially it is called the Community Code on Visas, but with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon the European Community melted into the European Union (EU). Thus, we speak about the EU Visa Code, when we refer to:

REGULATION (EC) No 810/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code); published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 15.9.2009 L 243/1.

Visa Handbook 2010

Operational instructions on the practical application of the provisions of the Regulation 810/2009 have been drawn up in view of ensuring a harmonised implementation of these provisions.

Only the Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish texts are authentic. [Not Danish, English or Irish.]

Ironically, at this time I was able to locate the fresh Visa Handbook only in English and two other working languages of the European Commission:

COMMISSION DECISION of 19.3.2010 establishing the Handbook for the processing of visa applications and the modification of issued visas; C(2010) 1620 final

DÉCISION DE LA COMMISSION du 19.3.2010 établissant le Manuel relatif au traitement des demandes de visa et à la modification des visas; C(1620) final

BESCHLUSS DER KOMMISSION vom 19.03.2010 über ein Handbuch für die Bearbeitung von Visumanträgen und die Änderung von bereits erteilten Visa; K(2010) 1620 endgültig

Perhaps the consular staffs and the public can expect to find the missing language versions published in the OJEU one of these days.

Ralf Grahn

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