EU Parliament Approves Digitalization of Schengen Visas

The Digitalization of Schengen Visa is revolutionizing travel within the Schengen Area. Discover a more accessible and secure visa application process that promises to simplify your journey.
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In a significant development for travelers to the Schengen Area, the European Parliament has voted to digitalize Schengen visas, paving the way for a more secure and accessible application process.

This landmark decision, which was reached on October 18, saw a resounding approval, with 573 MEPs voting in favor, 36 against, and 16 abstentions.

Digitalization of Schengen Visa

The proposal of digitalization of Schengen Visa put forward by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) places a strong emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility. The digital visa procedures are designed to accommodate individuals with varying language skills, disabilities, and those with limited internet access.

Streamlining and Cost Reduction

One of the primary goals of this digitalization effort is to reduce the efforts and costs associated with applying for a Schengen visa. By shifting to a digital application process, authorities aim to standardize practices across the European Union while simultaneously enhancing document security.

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A Single Online Platform

Under the newly approved law, Schengen visa applications will be processed through a single online platform. This platform will inform applicants about the specific Schengen member state responsible for processing their application in cases of multi-country travel.

Enhanced Security Measures

As part of the digitalization process, the Schengen visa will be issued in a digital format, featuring a cryptographically signed 2D barcode. This technology promises to bolster security measures, making it significantly more challenging to forge these documents.

Safer and More Efficient Process

Matjaž Nemec, the rapporteur for this crucial initiative, underscored the improved safety of the new system. He stated, “The process will now be safer as the new law will make it harder to abuse the system.”

Moreover, Nemec highlighted the benefits for nationals of third countries, stating, “The entire process will be easier and cheaper for all nationals of third countries who need a Schengen visa to enter the bloc.”

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Unifying Europe

Europe has lagged behind its counterparts in terms of digital visa procedures. This reform seeks to bridge that gap, making the entire process more cost-effective and efficient for applicants.

Nemec believes that “this single EU visa on a unified platform will be a building block for Europe as a single geographical entity.”

Simplified Application Process

While some exceptions will still apply, Schengen visa applications will predominantly be made through a single website. This user-friendly platform will allow applicants to input necessary information, upload travel documents, and pay visa fees from the comfort of their own homes.

Effortless Visa Decision Notifications

Applicants will also receive notifications regarding their visa decisions through the same platform. Whether their visa is approved or rejected, this digital system will provide timely updates.

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Selecting a Processing Member State

The platform will automatically determine the member state responsible for processing the application for those planning to visit multiple Schengen member states. However, applicants will retain the option to specify a particular member state based on the purpose of their travel.

With the adoption of this pioneering digitalization initiative, the European Union is poised to make Schengen visa applications more secure, affordable, and accessible.

As this digital transformation unfolds, it promises to streamline the process, strengthen security, and unite Europe as a single, integrated entity for the benefit of all travelers.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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