Schengen visa is soon going digital to ease Europe travel on your Indian passport

DailyBiteApr 06, 2023 | 12:59

Schengen visa is soon going digital to ease Europe travel on your Indian passport

EU is planning to digitise Schengen visa application process. Photo: Representative

For most Indian passport holders, getting a Schengen visa is an uphill battle, even with all the right documents and finances. And because of the pandemic-induced closures for a significant period of time, there is a long waiting list just to get an appointment to make a submission. Soon, that could be changing.

The EU is planning to digitise the Schengen visa application process. It means that most travellers, even those from India, will not have to book an appointment at centres like the VFS, go there in person, or stand in long queues to submit an application. Instead, all the document submission processes can be completed online and the visa also made available online. 


Under discussion

A press release dated March 29 by the EU Council stated: The EU member states' ambassadors today agreed the Council's negotiating mandate for a proposal to digitalise the visa procedure. The proposal introduces the possibility to apply for a visa online and replaces the current visa sticker with a digital visa. 

The proposal:

If approved,

  • There will be a single visa application platform or website to apply for Schengen visa.
  • Applicants will have to upload electronic copies of their travel and supporting documents and pay the visa fee. 
  • If an applicant wants to visit multiple Schengen countries, the platform will automatically decide which country's systems will be responsible for processing the application. 
  • This will be decided based on the duration of stay. 
  • The applicant will also be likely allowed to indicate a specific Schengen country that needs to approve the travel. 
  • The decision on the visa will be notified online. And visas will be generated in a digital format, involving a 2D barcode that's cryptographically signed. 
This will reduce security risks related to counterfeit and stolen visa stickers.
- EU Council
  • However, first-time applicants or those whose biometric data is no longer valid, or those with new travel documents, will have to appear in person at the consulate to make their application.


  • A digitised Schengen visa is aimed at making the process more efficient, especially in the face of delays owing to pandemic backlogs and to improve security.
...the digital visa will put an end to the risk of falsification and theft of the visa sticker.
- Maria Malmer Stenergard, Swedish Minister for Migration
  • It is also intended to make visa processing smoother for national administrations. 
Last updated: April 06, 2023 | 13:03
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