EU to Digitize Visa Procedures for Schengen Area
The EU plans to replace the sticker system in passports with a digital solution for Schengen visas. According to negotiators, the online process would be "simpler, cheaper, and faster" for applicants.
Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states have agreed to digitize visa procedures for the border-free Schengen area. In the future, people will be able to apply for their visa online. Applicants will be able to upload all relevant documents and pay visa fees through a single platform, regardless of the country they are applying to.
End of Current Visa Stickers
The current visa sticker in passports will be replaced with a digital visa. This move is expected to make visa procedures more efficient and increase security in the Schengen area.
However, a personal appointment may still be necessary for first-time applications, a new passport, or changes in biometric data even after the new regulations take effect.
EU: Lower Risk of Forgery, Fraud, and Theft
According to the EU Commission, the application procedures currently vary between countries and involve a lot of paperwork, resulting in higher costs. Physical visas pose a greater risk of forgery, fraud, and theft than digital visas, according to a statement.
The Schengen area, which includes 26 European countries, does not have stationary personnel checks at borders. The agreement must now be approved by member states before the necessary law can be formally passed.