Soon, travelling to Europe will be as easy as travelling to Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand as the Schengen visa is going to be digitalized. Yes! No need to visit several physical visits to the Embassies or Consulate. The Schengen visa process will be facilitated online. On March 29, 2023, the European Union member states passed a proposal to digitalize the Schengen visa process. If the proposal for the new digital Schengen visa is accepted and implemented it will make the visa application process more efficient and cost-effective, both for applicants and member states’ Consulates and Embassies.

The Schengen visa allows visitors to travel to and within the 27 European Union member states without the need for individual visas for each country.

Let’s have a look at the changes that will take place after the introduction of the digital Schengen visa and how it will revolutionize the Schengen visa application process.

  • The digital Schengen visa will be issued through a new digital visa application platform, which will allow applicants to apply Schengen visa online.
  • It will allow travellers to apply for a visa from anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to an internet connection making it easier for travellers to plan their holidays in Europe.
  • The Schengen visa digital application platform is expected to be more efficient and convenient for applicants, as it will eliminate the need to physically visit a Consulate or Embassy to apply for a Schengen visa.
  • The digital Schengen visa application process will be similar to the current visa application process, with applicants required to provide personal information, travel plans, and supporting documents, such as proof of accommodation and financial means.
  • Only first-time Schengen visa applicants, those applicants whose biometric data is no longer valid, and applicants who have a new travel document (passport) will be expected to visit the Consulate or Embassy to submit their biometrics.
  • The platform will also automatically determine which Schengen country must process the visa application for someone who is planning to visit multiple Schengen countries. However, the applicant can also choose to specify a particular member state to process their visa.
  • The digital Schengen visa will replace the current visa sticker with a digital visa thus eliminating the risk of theft or falsification of the sticker visa.
  • Replacing the traditional sticker visa, this new visa will be issued digitally in the form of a 2D barcode. This cryptographically signed barcode will contain all the relevant information about the visa holder and their travel plans, making it easier for border control officers to verify the visa’s authenticity and the traveller’s eligibility to enter the Schengen Region.
  • In addition to the convenience and efficiency of the digital Schengen visa, it will also be more environmentally friendly than the current visa sticker system. The digital Schengen visa will eliminate the need for traditional visa stickers, thus reducing paper waste and the environmental impact of producing and distributing physical visa stickers.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it is no surprise that the European Union member states have decided to introduce a new system for Schengen visa applications. The introduction of the digital Schengen visa is a significant step forward for the EU, as it aligns with the organization’s digital transformation strategy. It will simplify the visa application process, making it more accessible and cost-effective for applicants, while also streamlining the processing of visa applications for member state Consulates and Embassies.

In conclusion, the Schengen e-visa will be an innovative solution that meets the needs of both travellers and the member states. It will be a positive development for the European Union, as it aligns with the organization’s digital transformation strategy and contributes to its sustainability goals. For travellers, the digital Schengen visa will offer a more convenient and accessible way to apply for a Schengen visa, making it easier for them to plan and enjoy their Europe tour packages.

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