The European Commission has announced plans to digitalize the Schengen visa application process, which will make it faster and easier for non-EU nationals to apply for a Schengen visa. visa travel to European countries, including Germany.
Schengen visa applications will be digitalized
According to plans announced in late April, the Schengen visa application process will be fully digital, allowing applicants to apply for visas online through a single EU platform on the Internetno matter what Schengen country they want to visit.
Currently, some non-EU citizens have to go to the consulate to apply and then get a sticker in their passportbut the EU has long been committed to the project of adopting digital visas, based on the fact that they are less vulnerable to forgery.
The new visa application platform will contain up-to-date information on visa requirements and allow applicants to create an account, fill out an application form, upload documents and pay for a visa. Applicants will be able to log in again to check the status of their application and receive updates. It would also be possible to extend the visa, if necessary, online.
However, first-time applicants, people with new travel documents, and previous applicants whose biometric data has expired will still need to apply in person to the local consulate to provide new biometric identifiers.
Translating EU visa policy into the digital age
The new system, which will temporarily enter into force in 2026, has yet to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once the online application for Schengen visas is completed, it will be available for all countries in the borderless zone, which includes most EU countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Announcing the new process, Margaritis Schinas, Vice President for European Lifestyles, said: “Today we are moving EU visa policy into the digital age. Given that some Member States are already switching to digital, it is very important that the Schengen area moves forward as a whole. “
Home Affairs Commissioner Ilva Johansson added: “The modern visa process is crucial to facilitate travel to the EU for tourism and business. Half of those who come to the EU on a Schengen visa find it difficult to get a visa, a third have to travel long distances to apply for a visa. It is time for the EU to provide a fast, secure and web-based visa application platform for 102 third-country nationals who need a short-stay visa to travel to the EU. ”
Note that the new Schengen visa system is different from ETIAS (European Travel Information System), which is currently under development. ETIAS will be used by non-EU travelers who are exempt from visas but must apply for a travel permit to come to the EU.
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