Dubai: If you plan to travel to a European Union (EU) country soon, but dread the idea of making multiple visits for a visa application, there is good news. Applying for the Schengen Visa may soon become a lot easier, as the entire process may soon become digitalised.
A report adopted by Members of the European Parliament on January 31, 2023, may remove the need for applicants to submit a physical visa application, or get the visa stamped on their passport. In a press release issued by the European Union’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, the following details of the new digitalisation plan were provided.
Online application process
Visa applications would be processed on a single online platform that would also tell applicants which country will receive their application, in the case of multi-country trips. The new system is also designed to work harmoniously with the EU’s ecosystem of border management systems and databases.
Visa sticker will not be needed
The new procedures would also remove the need to get a physical visa sticker on your passport. According to a statement by EU Member of Parliament (MEP) Matjaž Nemec, the visa sticker would be replaced with the visa being issued digitally.
“A digital visa would reduce security risks posed by physical stickers, and a unified system would help people see the EU as a single geographical entity.”
He added that the new system would also ensure that applicants’ data is more secure by introducing additional processing safeguards.
Application procedures to be made easier
According to Nemec, the report also seeks to ensure that the new system is more applicant friendly, by removing barriers stemming from language, disability status, lack of digital skills or poor internet connectivity.
How will it affect people applying for the Schengen visa from the UAE?
In a statement to Gulf News, VFS Global said: “We are fully aware of the EU’s plans to digitalise the visa application process. As an external service provider to virtually all EU and Schengen governments, VFS Global looks forward to working with these governments to support them on their transformation journey.”
According to the official press release by the EU parliament, the next step is to have inter-institutional negotiations, and if there are no objections, negotiations on the final details of the legislation will begin.