On November 13, 2023, the European Council adopted new rules allowing people who plan to travel to the Schengen area to apply online for a visa.
The two regulations adopted will create an EU visa application platform. With a few exceptions, applications for Schengen visas will be made through that platform. On the platform, visa applicants will be able to enter all the relevant data, upload electronic copies of their travel documents and supporting documents, and pay their visa fees.
This is intended to render in-person appearance at the consulate redundant. In-person appearance will only be necessary for first-time applicants, people whose biometric data are no longer valid, and people with a new travel document.
When a person intends to visit several Schengen countries, the platform will automatically determine which one of them is responsible for examining the application on the basis of the duration of stay. However, the applicant will also have the possibility to indicate whether the application needs to be processed by a specific member state according to the purpose of travel.
The current visa sticker will be replaced with a cryptographically signed barcode.
The two regulations will enter into force 20 days after they are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Erickson Immigration Group will continue monitoring developments and sharing updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.