Digitalization of the visa application system most welcome
On 27 April 2022, the European Commission issued its proposal for the digitalisation of the Schengen visa process (COM(2022) 658 final).
Following the proposal, visa applicants will be able to apply for a visa online, including paying the visa fee through a single EU platform, regardless of the Schengen country they want to visit and the platform will automatically determine which Schengen country is responsible for examining an application, in particular when the applicant intends to visit several Schengen countries.
The platform will also provide applicants with up-to-date information on Schengen short-stay visas, as well as all necessary information regarding the requirements and procedures (such as supporting documents, visa fees or the need for an appointment to collect biometric identifiers).
Appearing in person at the consulate would only be mandatory for first-time applicants for the collection of biometric identifiers, for applicants whose biometric data are no longer valid or for those with a new travel document.
HOTREC welcomes the improvements and thanks to the European Commission for having listened to HOTREC’s concerns during the consultation phase. Travel is now made easier for visa applicants, while procedures are made more effective and secure.