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EU wants to digitize visa procedures for the Schengen area

The EU wants to replace the sticker system in passports in favor of a digital solution for Schengen visas. The online procedure is “easier, cheaper and faster” for applicants.

The visa procedures for the border-free Schengen area are to be digitized. Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU states agreed on this in Brussels in the evening.

In the future, people should be able to apply for their visa online. Applicants could then upload all their relevant documents and pay the visa fees via a single platform, regardless of the country.

end of the current visa sticker

The current visa sticker in the passport is to be replaced by a digital visa. This should make visa procedures more efficient and the Schengen area safer.

In the case of first-time applications, a new passport or changed biometric data, a personal appointment may still be necessary even after the new regulations have come into force.

EU: risk of counterfeiting, fraud and theft lower

According to the EU Commission, the application procedures in the various countries are currently different, are very paper-intensive and therefore also expensive. Physical visas are more likely to be counterfeited, fraudulent and stolen than digital visas, a statement said.

In the Schengen area, to which 26 European countries belong, there are no stationary identity checks at the borders. The agreement now has to be approved by the member states. After that, the necessary law can be formally passed.

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