The European Union Council and the European Parliament have reached an agreement regarding the implementation of a digital system for Schengen visas.
When the new law comes into effect, visas that were previously attached to passports will become digital and will be provided in the form of a two-dimensional barcode for access via the internet. Visas can also be downloaded onto mobile devices.
Applicants will be able to apply for visas in multiple languages via the Internet. With the new system, applications will be processed through a single internet platform, where the necessary documents can be uploaded and the visa fees can be paid.
When applicants plan to visit multiple countries, the country that initially issued the visa will be notified. The system will be compatible with the border management systems and databases of all EU countries.
Who are eligible for Digital Schengen Visa?
If you had a Schengen visa before and shared your biometric data with any EU country before, you will be eligible for the visa.
First-time visa applicants, those without biometric data, and those with newly-issued passports will still need to physically attend Schengen consulates, while all other applications will be processed electronically. The objective of digitizing Schengen visas is to reduce costs, accelerate and simplify visa applications, and strengthen the security of the Schengen area.
Once the law is formally approved by the EU Council and the European Parliament, it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and come into effect 20 days later.