The European Union Parliament and the EU Commission have reached an agreement on the digitalization of the visa procedure for Schengen countries. The agreement will allow Schengen visa applicants to apply online through a single website, which will simplify and speed up the process of obtaining a visa. Visas that used to be pasted into passports will be replaced by digital visas in the form of 2D barcodes, Euronews reported on Thursday.
Those wishing to apply for a visa will be able to apply online in many languages and download visas to mobile devices. This will make the visa application process more accessible and convenient for people from all over the world. The digitalization of the visa procedure will also increase the security of the Schengen area by reducing the risk of visa forgery and theft.
Under the new rules, applicants will only have to appear at the consulate if they are applying for a visa for the first time, if their biometric data are no longer valid, or if they have a new passport. If a person wants to visit several Schengen countries, the platform will automatically determine which one is responsible for processing the application depending on the length of stay.
The Schengen visa, which is issued for tourist purposes for a maximum of 90 days within 6 months, is used in 22 European Union countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Some countries, such as Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Cyprus, are not part of the Schengen area, although they are members of the EU.