You may soon be able to apply online for a Schengen visa. The ambassadors of EU member states approved negotiations on a plan to digitalize the visa system on 29 March 2023. If the modification, which was initially planned in April 2022, is implemented, travellers would be able to apply for a visa online, and the current visa sticker will be replaced by a digital visa.

The ability to apply online will decrease the frequency of consulate visits made by travellers. In a recent press release, Maria Malmer Stenergard, the Swedish minister for migration, emphasised that this will make the process easier for national administrations. These are three alterations that will occur if the application is approved:

No more endless printouts!

According to the proposed guidelines, all Schengen visa applications will be submitted via a new digital visa application portal. Visa applicants will be able to input all pertinent information, upload digital copies of their travel papers, and pay the required fees online. Initial applicants, travellers whose biometric information is no longer valid, and those with a new travel document must still present in person at the consulate.

You will avoid journeys to the Schengen visa processing centre

The platform will automatically transmit your online visa application to the appropriate country visa system. If you visit multiple Schengen countries, it will identify automatically which country is responsible for examining your application (you can also indicate if the application needs to be processed by a specific member state). The decision about the approval or denial of your visa will likewise be communicated electronically.

Your Schengen visa will be a two-dimensional barcode.

The visa will be issued in a digital format as a cryptographically-signed 2D barcode once the application has been processed. If everything goes according to plan, this new format will lessen the likelihood of counterfeit and stolen visa stickers.


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