Embracing Change: A New Era of Online Schengen Visa Applications on the Horizon


In today’s fast-paced world, adapting to new technologies and embracing change has become essential, particularly in the realm of travel. As technology continues to advance at lightning speed, the concept of the Schengen online visa application promises to transform the way travelers plan their European adventures.

Imagine a future without the hassle of waiting in long queues at embassies and consulates, as the convenience of European Schengen visa application online becomes a reality. In this blog post, we explore everything we know so far about it and how it has the potential to revolutionize the way we prepare for our European vacations.

The European Commission’s Proposal

Recognizing the need to modernize the Schengen visa application process, the European Commission has proposed a harmonized system for online Schengen visa applications. This proposal aims to replace individual online portals used by some EU countries with a unified system, making it more accessible and efficient for travelers.

The Commission has set an ambitious goal of fully digitizing the visa application procedure by 2025, with development on the electronic portal potentially starting in 2024 and becoming operational by 2026. According to the press release of the Council of the European Union at the end of March 2023 this proposal has been met with enthusiasm and support from various stakeholders, as it promises to simplify and expedite the visa application process for millions of travelers worldwide.

History of the Schengen Visa Digitalization Process

The idea of digitalizing the Schengen visa first arose in 2018 when the EU Commission proposed amending the Visa Code. As individual Schengen countries began implementing electronic portals, the Commission emphasized the importance of moving forward with a common solution to ensure consistency and efficiency across the region. In 2019, the Visa Code was revised, solidifying the idea of an online portal for Schengen visa applications.

The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the need for digitalization, as visa processing operations were heavily impacted by in-person application requirements. With travel restrictions and social distancing measures in place, it became apparent that a digital solution was necessary to keep the visa application process functional and efficient during these unprecedented times.

How the Online Schengen Visa Application Will Work

Once the digitized Schengen visa platform is launched, it will be integrated with the recently revised Visa Information System, which now includes state-of-the-art data protection safeguards to ensure the security of applicants’ personal information. The online system will provide a user-friendly interface, allowing applicants to:

  • Check visa requirements and determine if they need a visa or an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) application
  • Create a secure account and fill out an application form online
  • Upload necessary documents, such as a scanned passport, recent photo, travel insurance, letter of invitation, and proof of accommodation
  • Complete the Schengen visa fee payment digitally through credit or debit card options
  • Track the status of their application on the platform and receive email notifications
  • Obtain the approved visa electronically for hassle-free access
  • Extend and renew the Schengen visa online, if necessary.

The platform will automatically determine which country is responsible for processing an application, especially when the applicant intends to visit multiple countries. This feature eliminates the need for travelers to calculate which embassy they need to apply to, further simplifying the process.

Benefits of the New Online Schengen Visa Application System

Once the online Schengen visa application system is implemented, it will offer numerous benefits for travelers and authorities alike. These include:

  • Convenience and accessibility: With the online Schengen visa application system, applicants can submit their applications from the comfort of their own homes, avoiding long queues and multiple visits to embassies and consulates.
  • Reduced security risks: By eliminating physical visa stickers, the new system reduces the risk of falsification, fraud, and theft. This enhances security for both travelers and the Schengen Area countries.
  • Enhanced data protection: The online platform incorporates state-of-the-art data protection safeguards, ensuring that applicants’ personal information is secure throughout the process.
  • Streamlined application process: The platform’s user-friendly interface and automation features simplify the application process, making it easier for travelers to submit all necessary documentation and track the status of their applications.
  • Greater consistency and harmonization: By replacing individual online portals with a unified system, the Schengen online application process becomes more consistent and efficient across all participating countries.

The proposed digitalization of the Schengen visa application process marks a significant milestone in the evolution of international travel. Although the implementation is still a few years away, the anticipation is building as we look forward to a more streamlined, efficient, and secure way of obtaining the necessary travel documents to explore the wonders of Europe.

If you’re planning a trip to the Schengen Area and need assistance with your visa application, don’t hesitate to contact our team at The Visa Services Company. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff can guide you through the current process and help you stay informed about the upcoming online Schengen visa application system. Get in touch with us today and let us help you embark on your European adventure!

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