Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)

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Series Details L 243, Pages 1-58
Publication Date 15/09/2009
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Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 - adopted by the European Union on 13 July 2009 - which establishes the procedures and conditions for issuing visas for transit through or intended stays in the territory of the EU Member States not exceeding three months in any six-month period.

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This Regulation establishes the procedures and conditions for issuing visas for short stays in (maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period) and transit through the territories of countries in the European Union. It also lists the non-EU countries whose nationals are required to hold an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit areas of EU airports and establishes the procedures and conditions for issuing such visas.

The EU country that is the sole or the main destination of the visit is responsible for examining the visa application. If the main destination cannot be determined, the country of entry into the EU is competent. In the case of transit, the EU country through which the transit takes place or, in case of multiple transits, the country of first transit is responsible. Generally, the visa application must be submitted to the consulate of the EU country concerned. EU countries may establish bilateral arrangements for representing each other for the purpose of collecting visa applications or issuing visas. They may also cooperate through co-location or a common application centre. A visa application may be lodged by the applicant or an accredited commercial intermediary at the earliest 3 months before the intended visit.

After verifying the admissibility of the application, the competent authority must create an application file in the Visa Information System (VIS), following the procedures set out in the VIS Regulation. It carries out a further examination of the application to check that the applicant fulfils the entry conditions as set out in the Schengen Borders Code (SBC), does not pose a risk of illegal immigration or a threat to the security of the country and intends to leave before the visa expires. A decision on an admissible application must be taken within 15 calendar days from the date on which it was lodged.

This regulation amended the VIS Regulation and the SBC. It also repeals Articles 9-17 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement and the Common Consular Instructions. The regulation applies from 5 April 2010.

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