EU Ambassadors Approve Digital Reform of Schengen Visa Procedure

(MENAFN) EU ambassadors have adopted a common position on the digital reform of the Schengen visa procedure. The envoys approved the negotiating mandate of the Council of the EU, the institution representing member states, to start talks with the European Parliament on the new visa rules. Under the proposed reform, the EU would create a single digital platform for visa applications, eliminating the need for applicants to apply to different national consulates.

The new digital platform would allow travelers to upload their relevant documents, pay the fee, and follow the processing of their application on the website. Additionally, applicants would be able to specify if they plan to visit several EU countries, and the system could automatically determine which EU country is responsible for issuing the visa.

One significant change under the reforms would be the abolition of visa stickers and the adoption of a digital format of a cryptographically signed 2D barcode. The new system aims to streamline the application process and reduce the number of trips to the consulate for travelers, while also making the process smoother for national administrations.

Maria Malmer Stenergard, the Swedish minister for migration, commented on the decision, stating that online applications will make the process smoother for travelers and national administrations. She also highlighted that the digital visa will put an end to the risk of falsification and theft of the visa sticker.

The EU institutions will now begin negotiations on the details of the reform. This move is seen as a significant step forward in modernizing and digitizing the visa application process, making it more efficient, secure, and accessible for travelers. As the EU continues to develop and implement new digital technologies, it will be important to prioritize the protection of privacy and data security, while also ensuring that these technologies are accessible and inclusive for all individuals.



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