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EU Approves Online Schengen Visas: Apply Now and Travel to Europe Easier Than Ever


The Council of the European Union has given the green light to the digitalisation of the visa application procedure for those planning to travel to the Schengen Area.

This means that those who need a Schengen visa will soon be able to apply for the document online, without having to visit a consulate or embassy and wait for a long time to receive an answer on their application.

It is expected that around 18 million people from third countries under the visa-free regime will benefit from this digitalized system by the time it is launched.

Commenting on the decision, the acting Spanish minister for the interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez, said that the online application process will have a positive impact on citizens as well as on administrative processes.

He further stressed that the online application system is expected to streamline the entire process, allowing national administrations to respond to visa requests more swiftly and effectively.

The possibility of applying for a Schengen visa online will be a great improvement for citizens and for the processing of the application. It will simplify the application process for travellers and, at the same time, will ease the burden on national administrations, which will be able to respond more quickly and effectively.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez, acting Spanish minister for the interior

Single EU Visa Application Platform Will Be Launched

As the Council explains, the key development is the creation of an EU visa application platform. With only a few exceptions, Schengen visa applications will transition to this user-friendly online platform.

On the platform, Schengen visa applicants will be able to enter all necessary information, upload electronic copies of their travel and supporting documents, and pay their visa fees.

Moreover, through the same platform, applicants will receive notifications on their visa decision.

The platform will automatically determine the country that will process applications for those who plan to visit multiple Schengen Member States. However, applicants will continue to be able to indicate if they wish their application to be processed by a specific country according to the purpose of their travel.

This digital shift promises efficiency and convenience, making a significant departure from the traditional paperwork.

Physical Appearances at Consulates Will No Longer Be Necessary

In addition, under the new regulations, physical appearances at consulates will become largely unnecessary, except for first-time applicants, individuals with a new travel document, and those with expired biometric data.

This reduction in in-person requirements aims to simplify the process, making it more accessible and less burdensome for everyone.

Moreover, in line with the new rules, the visa sticker will be replaced with a more secure and sophisticated cryptographically signed barcode. As the Council explains, this upgrade aligns with modern technological advancements, and it ensures a higher level of security in visa documentation while lowering the possibility of counterfeiting the document.

The date of the application of the new rules will be decided once the work on the visa platform and the digital visa has been completed.

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Monte OZ
Monte OZ is a highly accomplished and respected international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger based in Africa. With a passion for storytelling, a sense of adventure, and an eye for all things captivating, Monte has become a prominent figure in the world of travel, entertainment, and lifestyle journalism. Born and raised in Africa, Monte developed a deep appreciation for the continent's diverse cultures, rich heritage, and vibrant entertainment scene. His upbringing fueled his desire to share Africa's untold stories and showcase its dynamic lifestyle to a global audience. Monte's extensive experience and expertise have made him a sought-after authority on all things related to travel, adventure, entertainment, and lifestyle in Africa. As an international freelance journalist, Monte has made significant contributions to various prestigious publications worldwide. His captivating articles, insightful interviews, and engaging features have graced the pages of leading entertainment magazines, lifestyle publications, and reputable news outlets. Monte's unique ability to capture the essence of Africa's entertainment and lifestyle scene has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. With a love for exploration and a thirst for adrenaline, Monte also thrives as an active adventure reporter. He has embarked on daring expeditions, immersing himself in Africa's wild landscapes, and documenting his adrenaline-pumping experiences. Whether it's conquering treacherous peaks, exploring remote jungles, or engaging in heart-pounding activities, Monte's adventurous spirit and daring escapades inspire readers to embrace their own sense of adventure. In addition to his work in journalism and adventure reporting, Monte is a leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger in Africa. Through his influential blog, he offers readers an insider's view of the continent's vibrant entertainment scene, trendy hotspots, fashion trends, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Monte's unique blend of storytelling, personal insights, and expert recommendations has made his blog a go-to resource for entertainment and lifestyle enthusiasts seeking the pulse of Africa's dynamic culture. Beyond his professional pursuits, Monte is a passionate advocate for promoting Africa's talent, creativity, and cultural diversity. He actively supports and champions emerging artists, musicians, designers, and entrepreneurs, helping to showcase their work to a broader audience. Monte's dedication to promoting Africa's vibrant entertainment and lifestyle industry has positioned him as a respected influencer and tastemaker within the African and global entertainment communities. With a commitment to excellence, a passion for exploration, and a talent for captivating storytelling, Monte Oz continues to captivate audiences worldwide. As an international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger, his work has left an indelible mark on the world of journalism, travel, and entertainment, solidifying his position as a trusted authority and go-to resource for all things related to African travel, adventure, and lifestyle.