Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a touring visa and amending the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement and Regulations (EC) No 562/2006 and (EC) No 767/2008

Author (Corporate)
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Series Details (2014) 163 final (01.04.14)
Publication Date 01/04/2014
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In the framework of Schengen intergovernmental cooperation, detailed rules were established concerning the entry and stay of third-country nationals for up to three months in a six-month period (so-called short stays). This was done with the aim of ensuring the security of the Schengen area and providing a right to move freely within it, including for third-country nationals. These rules were then further developed and consolidated in the framework of the European Union, following the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

It is of course also possible for third-country nationals to stay longer than three months or 90 days in the Schengen area, but this should not be done on the basis of the existing provisions on short stays. It would require taking up residence in one of the Member States, so third-country nationals should apply for a residence permit or long-stay visa from the Member State concerned. Such permits are purpose-bound, issued for the purpose of work, business, study, family reunification, etc., but in principle, not for tourism. There are no general, horizontal EU-level rules establishing the conditions for issuing residence permits or long-stay visas, but there are sectorial directives covering specific categories of third-country nationals, e.g. workers or students. However, these Directives do not provide for full harmonisation and leave Member States room for manoeuvre to provide for exceptions and derogations and to specify certain details in their national laws.

The general rule does not pose any problem for the vast majority of travellers and should be kept. But as long ago as 2001, the Commission recognised the need to complement it by introducing an authorisation for stays of longer than three months in the Schengen area. It proposed a Council Directive on conditions under which third-country nationals would have the freedom to travel within the territory of the Member States for periods not exceeding three months, introducing a specific travel authorisation and determining the conditions of entry and movement for periods not exceeding six months.

It is therefore desirable to introduce a new type of visa both for visa-exempt and visa-requiring third-country nationals with a legitimate interest in travelling around the Schengen area for more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

The proposal regulates neither the conditions and procedures on admitting third-country nationals for stays longer than three months in a Member State, nor the conditions and procedures for issuing work permits or equivalent authorisations (i.e. access to the labour market).

Though the proposal provides that many provisions of the Visa Code should apply to processing the new type of visa, a separate proposal is justified, rather than integrating the provisions into the proposal for amending the Visa Code, as the scope of the latter are the rules and procedures for issuing visas to third-country nationals who require visas (cf. Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001).

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EUR-Lex: COM(2014)163: Follow the progress of this proposal through the decision-making procedure

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