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European Union Announces Digitalization of Schengen Visa Applications

Nov 21, 2023

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Great news for travellers planning to visit or study in Europe! As per the recent announcement, the Schengen visa will now be paperless and easy to apply. Read on to know more about the digitalization of the Schengen Visa. 

The foreign ministers of European Unions have officially approved to digitalise Schengen visa applications recently, thus, making the process more streamlined. This digitalisation also eliminates the requirement for consulate appointments or visits to the offices of service providers. The Schengen area comprises 23 of the 27 EU member countries and its associated neighbouring countries like Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. So, Visa applicants planning to visit these countries can now apply online. This also removes the necessity of getting physical stickers on passports. 

Following the declaration after a month-long legislative process, the digitalization of visas will be effective three weeks after it is published in the EU's administrative gazette. So, this major change is expected soon.
 

Application Process for the E-visas

Once the online application process is in effect, the Schengen visa application process will involve online document submission. This will include electronic copies of travel documents with biometric data, and fee payment. All this will happen through the online visa platform. Once the database is cross-checked and approved, the applicants will obtain a cryptographically signed barcode. They can then print this or store it on their device. 

However, if you are a first-time visa applicant or have a new passport or changed biometric data, then you may have to get an in-person appointment scheduled for additional verification. Apart from this digitalized process, visitors entering the European Union will have to go through an automated EU Entry/Exit System (EES). This EES will be a computerized process that will record a person's details and biometric data besides their date of entry and exit. This change aims to keep track of overstays and refused entries.

These are the new regulations that you must know about the Schengen Visa Applications. So, no more appointments at consulates when you can get your visa online!  

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