Are you aware of the new proposal to make the Schengen visa process Digital? Read this article to learn about the new EU law, including the reasons for going digital.
The Schengen visa application procedure will soon become mostly digital, according to the European Union. The EU member states, and lawmakers have conceded to change the current Schengen visa system from the traditional and current visa sticker and go digital.
The new law to digitize the Schengen visa has not yet been adopted. Once it’s adopted formally, most people wanting to visit the EU can apply for their visa online rather than booking an appointment at the consulate or visa offices.
What You Need To Know About the Schengen Visa Process Being Digital
When the law is implemented, the EU will create a visa application platform where applications will be submitted. The applications will then be sent to the respective national visa systems based on the countries you applied for.
You will be required to upload all your documents and add relevant data, including supporting travel documents and identification. You will be prompted to pay your visa fee before completing the visa application process.
The website will be created such that it will be possible for you to view your visa application status and the final decision on the visa. If your visa application has been denied, you can check the website for the reason for the denial and also if you can apply again for the visa.
If you are traveling to more than one Schengen nation, the website will automatically determine the country where you have to get your visa approved based on the period of stay. Nonetheless, you can also mention where you want your application to be processed based on the purpose of your trip.
“Digitalization is the future of EU visa policy. With the new fully digitalized system and digital visas, applicants will benefit from easier, cheaper and faster EU visa procedures,” the EU rapporteur said.
Who Cannot Apply For a Visa Digitally?
According to the EU’s statements, travelers applying for a Schengen visa for the first time or those whose biometric data has expired cannot apply for visas from the website. Applicants with a new travel document will have to go to the visa centers or consulate in person to apply for the Schengen visa.
Issuance of the Digital Schengen Visa
The Schengen visa application through the website will be digital. It will be issued as a 2D barcode which is cryptographically signed. This format reduces security risks related to counterfeit and stolen visa stickers.
Why go Digital
Migration and security challenges have transformed the conditions of the EU’s policy considerably. The Covid-19 pandemic also slowed down visa operations and pushed all industries to adopt digital procedures. Technology provides security features and opportunities to make procedures effortless and more fruitful for both the applicant and national authorities.
The goal of the new law is to make the Schengen visa application more productive and improve the security of the Schengen zone. Digital visas will reduce the risk of falsification and theft of the visa sticker. This is according to a statement issued by the EU.
The digital visa makes it easier for travelers to apply for a visa and simplifies the administrative procedure. You don’t have to make an appointment or queue at the consulate or visa application centers to get your visa, as you can comfortably apply for it from anywhere, provided you have an internet-connected device.
The current visa procedures heavily rely on paperwork, which is costly for both the EU member states and the applicants. With the digitization of visa procedures, all members involved will benefit and save time and money.