The European Parliament voted for the law on digitalization of visas: what will electronic Schengen visas change?
The European Union is ready to implement digital transformation of visa procedures in the Schengen area. This initiative is aimed at facilitating and speeding up the application process, as well as improving security. Learn more about the benefits of electronic Schengen visas
Soon, Schengen visas will become more secure and accessible, as members of the European Parliament (EP) have voted in favor of a law on the digital transformation of the visa application process.
Here's a look at what electronic Schengen visas will change.
The European Parliament voted in favor of the law on digitalization of visas: details
On October 18, a law was passed that provides for the introduction of digital procedures for obtaining Schengen visas. This initiative was supported by 573 deputies, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In particular, MEPs emphasized the importance of inclusiveness and accessibility of the procedure, regardless of language skills, disability or limited access to the Internet.
According to the Parliament's statement, the digitalization of Schengen visa applications is aimed at reducing the effort and costs associated with the application process. In addition, the digitalization of the visa procedure will help create a common practice in the EU and increase the security of documents.
According to the new law, Schengen visa applications will be processed through a single online platform, allowing applicants to find out which Schengen member state will process their application when traveling between several countries.
What is the advantage of digital visas?
The new visas, which will be issued in a digital format with a cryptographic signature in the form of a 2D barcode, are much more secure than those used previously and are harder to fake, which guarantees a higher level of security.
Commenting on the adoption of the digital transformation of Schengen visa procedures, MEP Matjaž Nemec said that this step will make the visa process safer and more difficult to abuse.
He also emphasized that this initiative will reduce costs and simplify the procedure for all third-country nationals who need Schengen visas to enter the European bloc.
"Europe is currently lagging behind our neighbors in digital visa procedures. With this reform, we will catch up and make the procedure cheaper and easier for applicants. This single EU visa on a single platform will become a building block for Europe as a single geographical entity," said Matjaž Nemec.
Despite some exceptions, Schengen visa applications will be submitted through a single website that will automatically direct applicants to the relevant visa processing systems.
On this online portal, applicants will be able to enter the necessary data, upload copies of travel documents and pay the visa fee without leaving their homes. The website will also notify applicants of visa decisions, providing information on approval or denial.
The platform will also automatically determine the country that will process the application for those who intend to visit several Schengen Member States, but applicants will still be able to specify which Member State they wish to have their application processed according to the purpose of their travel.
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