New Digital Schengen Visa
Traveling to Europe will become as convenient as visiting destinations like Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, as the Schengen visa is undergoing digitalization. This means that there will be no need for multiple physical visits to embassies or consulates, as the Schengen visa application process will be facilitated online. On March 29, 2023, the European Union member states passed a proposal to digitize the Schengen visa process, aiming to make it more efficient and cost-effective for both applicants and member state consulates and embassies.
Benefits New Digital Schengen Visa
- The Schengen visa allows visitors to travel to and within the 27 European Union member states without obtaining individual visas for each country. Now, let’s take a closer look at the changes that will occur once the digital Schengen visa is introduced and how it will revolutionize the visa application process.
- The digital Schengen visa will be issued through a new online visa application platform, enabling applicants to apply for a Schengen visa from anywhere in the world, as long as they have internet access. This will make it easier for travelers to plan their holidays in Europe, allowing them to apply for a visa from the comfort of their own homes, just like booking accommodations or flights. The digital platform is expected to be more efficient and convenient, eliminating the need for physical visits to consulates or embassies.
- The application process for the digital Schengen visa will be similar to the current process, requiring applicants to provide personal information, travel plans, and supporting documents such as proof of accommodation and financial means. Only first-time applicants, those with expired biometric data, and those with a new travel document (passport) will be required to visit the consulate or embassy to submit their biometrics.
- The platform will automatically determine which Schengen country should process the visa application for individuals planning to visit multiple Schengen countries. However, applicants can also choose a specific member state to process their visa. The digital Schengen visa will replace the current visa sticker with a digital format, reducing the risk of theft or falsification. It will be issued in the form of a 2D barcode containing all relevant information about the visa holder and their travel plans. This barcode, cryptographically signed, will facilitate the verification of the visa’s authenticity and the traveler’s eligibility by border control officers.
- Aside from the convenience and efficiency, the digital Schengen visa is also environmentally friendly. It eliminates the need for traditional visa stickers, thereby reducing paper waste and the environmental impact associated with producing and distributing physical stickers.
- The introduction of the digital Schengen visa aligns with the European Union’s digital transformation strategy, reflecting the organization’s commitment to a more digital future. It simplifies the visa application process, making it more accessible and cost-effective for applicants, while streamlining the processing of visa applications for member state consulates and embassies.
In conclusion, the Schengen e-visa represents an innovative solution that meets the needs of both travelers and member states. Its implementation is a significant step forward for the European Union, supporting its digital transformation strategy and sustainability goals. For travelers, the digital Schengen visa offers a more convenient and accessible way to apply, enhancing the overall experience of planning and enjoying Europe tour packages.