EU Council Approves Mandate For Digital Schengen Visa

EU Council Approves Mandate For Digital Schengen Visa

The Council's proposal to digitise the visa application process has gained the support of all EU member states' ambassadors.

The EU is embracing the digital age with open arms as the new rule will replace the current visa sticker with a technologically advanced digital visa, aimed at enhancing security and efficiency.

“A digital Schengen visa will make it easier for legitimate travellers to apply and will at the same time help make the Schengen area safer. Online applications will reduce the number of trips to the consulate for travellers and make the process smoother for national administrations.”

Sweden’s Minister for Migration, Maria Malmer Stenergarz

Currently, all Schengen visa applicants are required to attend an interview and submit several documents, depending on the type of visa they are applying for.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic considerably slowed down visa operations, creating the need for digital procedures to avoid in-person contact.

How It Will Change

According to the European Council statement, the proposed regulations introduce a revolutionary visa application platform. All Schengen visa applicants can now submit their applications through one unified portal, which then forwards them to the relevant national visa systems, paving the way for a hassle-free process.

On the visa platforms, applicants will be able to upload electronic copies of their travel and all supporting documents and pay their visa fees. They will also be notified of the decision concerning their visas. 

Features of the digitised Schengen visa

  • Besides the digitisation of visas, it will also put an end to the risk of falsification and theft of visa stickers. 
  • The in-person appearance will be required for first-time applicants, applicants whose biometric data is invalid, and those with a new travel document.
  • The digitally signed visas will include a 2D barcode to verify their authenticity.

Having agreed upon the negotiating mandate, the Council will commence dialogues with the European Parliament to hash out the final details.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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IaM can help with your visa application to Europe, the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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