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Everything you need to know on the Schengen visa digitalisation


Following the Council’s recent adoption of the new visa rules, travellers to the Schengen area will be able to apply for their visa online. Although the provisions will not be applicable immediately and it will take several years to implement it, applying for a Schengen visa will become easier and the visa itself will be more secure and less vulnerable to theft and fraud. The digital visa will replace the sticker with a cryptographically signed barcode.

Applicants for a Schengen visa will need to present themselves at the Consulate to enroll their biometric data or renew them after five years or when they apply with a new travel document. Otherwise, EU visa applicants will be able to enter all the relevant data, upload electronic copies of their travel documents, and pay their visa fees directly on the future EU visa application online platform.

Modernising international travel

The new visa rules will modernise, simplify, and harmonise the visa procedures through digitalisation. This will benefit both the third country nationals applying for a Schengen visa and the EU Member States processing these requests, by streamlining visa applications and lessening costs for applicants and issuing authorities. These new rules will also mitigate risks associated to physical visa stickers. Despite recent additional security features, visa stickers present more risks than a digital visa (falsification, fraud, theft).

Through the future singleEU Online Visa application platform, applicants will be able to apply for a Schengen visa online, regardless of the Schengen country they want to visit. The platform will start operating in 2028, allowing the necessary time for its development and for tests to be carried out. The digital visa will be introduced when the platform becomes operational.

More information

Migration and Home Affairs Visa policy


Visa Digitalisation: Visa travel to the EU becomes easier

Council gives green light to the digitalisation of the visa procedure – Consilium


Link:, dated December 1, 2023 9:34 am

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