EU begins digitalization of visa application
The European Union has adopted a new strategy to digitalize the visa application process and eliminate the difficulties of submitting a physical Schengen visa application.
The majority of the Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) on Tuesday voted in support of a report that would digitalize the Schengen visa procedures. 34 MEPs voted in favour of the report, five voted against it, and 20 abstained from voting.
According to the EU Parliament, digital procedures will expedite the application process, lower application costs and effort, and advance security across all European nations.
“By digitalising the visa application process for the Schengen area, the proposal aims to reduce the costs and efforts required to make an application while ensuring harmonious practises throughout Europe and improving its security,” said the statement of the EU Parliament.
Since visa requests will be handled on a single online platform, the new method will allow applicants to know the country that will receive and attend to their applications.
The technology was created to integrate with the border management systems and EU databases to mitigate security risks.
Rapporteur Matjaž Nemec commended the digitalisation saying the unified system would make people see European countries as a single geographical entity.
“We want to deliver a modern, user-friendly digital solution for EU visa applications, along with simplified application procedures,” Mr Nemec stated.
“Replacing the visa sticker with a digital visa would also reduce security risks posed by physical stickers, and a unified system would help people see the EU as a single geographical entity.”