CJEU hearing in visa case 6 December 2018

On 6 December 2018 the CJEU will hold a hearing in the Case C-680/17, which was referred by the district court in Utrecht in a visa case. The case concerns the request of Sri Lankan nationals for a Schengenvisa for the Netherlands. On the basis of a bilateral agreement they needed to apply for this visa at VSF Global (a private organisation), which decides on visa application on behalf of Switzerland, which decides in its turn on behalf of the Netherlands. The visa were refused by VSF Global. The applicants submitted an objection against this rejection in the Netherlands. The Dutch authorities declared this objection inadmissible. They stated that they do not have the authority to decide on the visa applications. The applicants appealed this decision before the district court. The court asked the CJEU amongst others whether the right to an effective remedy as guaranteed by Article 47 of the Charter is respected, if the decision to reject an application for a visa can only be appealed before an administrative or judicial body in the State, which has taken this decision on behalf of another State.

The CJEU asked the parties to focus on the following issues:

  • The interpretation of Art. 32(3) of the Visa Code, in particular the sentence: ‘Appeals shall be conducted against the Member State that has taken the final decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State’.
  • The relation between Art. 8 and 32(3) Visacode
  • The right to an effective remedy guaranteed in Art. 47 of the Charter and in particular the question whether it is advantageous to the applicant to lodge the appeal against a decision to refuse a visa in the represented Member State.