In our Spotlight on EMEA Series we round up the latest updates across EMEA. In this post we look at the EU Council’s approval of online filing for Schengen visa application.
The EU Council has adopted new rules which, once implemented, will allow for the online filing of Schengen visa applications. Although the rules were adopted on 13th November 2023 the effective date of implementation will depend on when the technical work on the visa platform itself and the digital visa has been concluded.
There are two regulations to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force on the twentieth day following publication. The two regulations designed to create a more efficient system for the submission and processing of applications by:
Establishing an EU visa application platform
Schengen visa applications (with some exceptions) will be submitted via the platform where applicants can input all relevant information, complete visa fee payments and upload electronic copies of personal documentation such as travel documents and any supporting materials.
Eliminate the need for personal attendance at the Consulate
In most cases, the regulations will remove the need for physical attendance at the processing Consulate. There will be cases where in person appearances are required but these will mostly be confined to first-time applicants, those holding new travel documents or individuals with expired biometric data.
Replace existing visa sticker
Existing visa stickers will be substituted with a cryptographically signed barcode for enhanced security.