30 Jun 2023


Europe: Digitalization of the Schengen Visa

On June 13, 2023, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union announced an agreement to allow for the digitalization of the Schengen visa procedure. This change will make the visa application process smoother, eliminating the need for visa stickers and burdensome paperwork.  EU Member States will be given a 7-year transition period to join the online visa application platform.

Highlights of this digitalization effort include the following:

  • A new EU Online Visa application platform will allow travelers to submit their application form and pay their visa fee after creating their own secure account where they will receive updates about their application status online.
  • The platform will offer all necessary information about supporting documents, visa fees, and processes as well as appointments for biometrics.
  • The physical Schengen visa sticker will be replaced with a digital Schengen visa—an encrypted 2D barcode—which will also apply to long-stay visas.
  • In-person appearance at a consulate in principle will only be necessary for first-time applicants, persons whose biometric data are no longer valid, and those possessing a new travel document such as a Passport.

The digitalization of the Schengen visa will simplify and secure the visa application process, improve its communication with the soon-to-be launched ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), and will determine which country is responsible for the application based upon the applicant’s purported travel plans (i.e., visits to multiple Schengen countries during same trip).

Of note, this provisional agreement still requires the approval of the Member States before the adoption process can begin.

For more information on this Alert, please reach out to the T&S EMEA team at

© 2021 Tafapolsky & Smith LLP. All rights reserved.
The content above is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.