Tomas Haupt - Jun 19, 2023
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The European Parliament and the Council of Europe have agreed on digitizing the Schengen visa procedure.

"The agreed rules will modernize, simplify and harmonize visa procedures for third-country nationals applying for visas and for the Member States that have to issue them, thanks to digitization," says a press release from the European Commission.

Digital visas are much safer than physical visa stickers, as they are less vulnerable to fraud, counterfeiting, and theft. A single European platform will allow online applications to be made directly.

Third-country travelers can pay the same visa fee regardless of which Schengen country they wish to visit.

Europe plans to replace the Schengen visa sticker with a digital Schengen visa (encrypted 2D barcode), which will also apply to long-stay visas.

EU countries that still need to fully implement Schengen rules, such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Cyprus, can issue short-stay visas. The system will identify which country will process the application if the stay involves multiple states.

Member States have a 7-year transitional period to join the platform. The European Parliament and Council must formally adopt the regulation.

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