European Council Approves Online Schengen Visa Application Process

European Council Approves Online Schengen Visa Application Process

In a pivotal stride toward modernising travel protocols, the Council of the European Union has approved the digitalisation of the Schengen visa application process, marking a significant shift in travel convenience.

Recent deliberations among EU foreign ministers have resulted in the green signal for digitising Schengen visa applications. This transformative online platform is poised to streamline the application procedure, eliminating the need for consulate appointments or visits to service provider offices.

The decision signals a new era in which persons in need of a Schengen visa can easily apply online, avoiding consular visits and lengthy waiting periods.

This monumental change, following months of legislative groundwork, is slated to come into effect three weeks after its publication in the EU's administrative gazette.

Speaking about the process, Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said that the online visa system “will simplify the application process for travellers”

Seamless Online Experience

Once implemented, the Schengen short-stay application process involves online document submission and payment. 

In principle, only first-time applicants, individuals with expired biometric data, or those possessing new travel documents will be mandated for an in-person appearance.

Successful applicants will undergo comprehensive database cross-checks and receive a cryptographically signed barcode, suitable for printing or digital storage.

Citizens from over 60 countries, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States are exempted from Schengen visas for short visits. However, they will soon be required to complete an online pre-screening via the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

Those who have plans to travel to the Schengen Zone in the coming days but need a visa, reach out to IaM for assistance on your Schengen visa application.

Are you excited about the digital process of the Schengen Visa application? 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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And because of the pandemic, don’t forget to get your travel insurance, which will cover you for flight disruptions and pandemic related matters.

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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