Civil Liberties MEPs backed on Tuesday the deal reached with Council on a new EU Visa Code, establishing the procedures and conditions for issuing visas to enter the EU for short periods.

The draft text simplifies procedures for requesting and issuing short-stay visas (for up to 90 days in any 180-day period). Negotiators also agreed to use the visa policy to encourage non-EU countries to cooperate on migration.

The Civil Liberties backed the agreement with 41 votes to 9 and 1 abstention. It will now be put to a vote by the full House, before formal adoption by the Council of Ministers. The changes will be applicable six months after the text is published in the Official Journal of the EU.

Currently, travellers from 102 countries and 2 other entities are required to have a visa in order to enter the EU. The number of visa applications has increased by 50% in the last few years, from 10.2 million in 2009 to 15.2 million in 2016.