The European Council announced the approval for the digitalization of the Schengen visa process.

Key Points:

  • EU officials announced on Nov. 13 that they had approved new rules to create an online EU visa application platform for EU citizens.
  • Applicants will be able to enter all the relevant data, upload electronic copies of their travel documents and supporting documents, pay their visa fees and replace the current visa sticker with a cryptographically signed barcode.
  • Even after the system is implemented, in-person appearances may be necessary for first-time applicants and applicants whose biometric data is no longer valid or possess a new travel document.

BAL Analysis: The online platform is expected to simplify the application process for visa-required travelers and reduce barriers in the EU visa application process. The new regulations will enter into force 20 days after publication. BAL will continue following developments and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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