Published: 2023-03-30 01:04
Last Updated: 2023-06-05 15:11
Wednesday, the ambassadors of the European Union member states approved a proposal to digitalize the procedures for obtaining a Schengen visa.
This introduces the possibility to apply for a Schengen visa online and replace the current visa sticker with a digital visa. This aims to make the visa application procedure more efficient and to improve the security of the Schengen area.
Maria Malmer Stenergard, Swedish Minister for Migration, said: "A digital Schengen visa will make it easier for legitimate travelers 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 travelers and make the process smoother for national administrations. At the same time, the digital visa will put an end to the risk of falsification and theft of the visa sticker."
A visa application platform will be created and applications for Schengen visas will be made through this platform. The platform will forward these applications to the relevant national visa systems.
Additionally, this platform will allow visa applicants to introduce all relevant data, upload electronic copies of their travel and supporting documents, as well as pay their visa fees.
Applicants will also be notified of the decisions concerning their visas.
First-time applicants, however, will have to do an in-person appearance at the consulate, in addition to persons whose biometric data are no longer valid and those with a new travel document.
In case a person wants to visit several Schengen countries, the platform will automatically determine which one of them is responsible for examining the application on the basis of the duration of stay. Applicants will also have the possibility to indicate whether the application needs to be processed by a specific member state according to the purpose of travel.
Visas will be issued in digital format as a 2D barcode, cryptographically signed under this step.