Switzerland to Digitize Schengen Visas

The Swiss Federal Council has initiated consultations to digitalize Schengen visas. This step aligns Switzerland with the EU’s actions to digitize the application process for short-stay visas within the Schengen Area.

The EU regulation, adopted on November 12, 2023, mandates the submission of Schengen visa applications through an EU electronic platform that is yet to be developed. The new system will replace the traditional paper stickers with digital visas, omitting the need to go to a consulate or embassy.

The Swiss government will need to amend the Law on Foreigners and Integration.

What to Expect
  • The EU platform is expected to be operational in January 2026
  • Switzerland aims to integrate into the EU platfrom no sooner than 2028.
  • The Swiss Federal Council has approved changes to the format of the visas. The dual-format will make visas available with traditional paper and stickers and digitally with a barcode.

The EU also revealed that the transition to digital Schengen visa application will take up to seven years. All the Member States will have the option to refuse to use the EU Visa Application Platform if they want to.

Erickson Insights and Analysis

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