COVID-19: Guidelines on ‘minimum service’ for processing of visa applications

20 Mar 2020

Guidelines on ‘minimum service’ for processing of visa applications from specific categories of visa applicants during the COVID-19 emergency period.

As part of the measures to contain the spreading of COVID-19, many Member States have chosen to suspend the processing of visa applications for non-essential travel, in most cases, for an undetermined period of time. Such initiatives also match the constantly evolving travel restrictions.

On 16 March 2020, the Commission adopted a Communication on “COVID-19: Temporary Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to the EU.” On 17 March 2020, to limit the spread of the virus globally, the Members of the European Council held a video conference on COVID-19 and reaffirmed the need to do everything necessary to tackle the crisis, including by reinforcing the external borders by applying a coordinated temporary restriction of non-essential travel to the EU for a period of 30 days, based on the approach proposed by the Commission.

The Communication lists a number of categories of travellers who are to be exempted from the temporary travel restrictions. 
Despite temporary partial closure of visa sections, Member States’ consulates (and possibly external service providers collecting applications) should therefore remain open and accept visa applications from categores exempt from the entry ban. 

Fore more information: Guidelines for minimal service processing of Schengen visas

Last updated 20 Mar 2020, 6.09 PM