The EU authorities planned to “digitize” the Schengen visa. The report, which was adopted by members of the European Union Parliament, refers to a project to modernize the Schengen visa application procedure “by moving from physical applications and visa stickers to a digital system.” That is, the Schengen visa is planned to be radically changed – and it will no longer be pasted into the passport.
“Applying for a digital visa will speed up the process, reduce the effort and costs required to apply, and increase security,” the European press quoted the European Parliament’s statement. They are also sure that the digitization of the visa application process will ensure uniformity of practice throughout the EU.
“The new system is designed to work harmoniously with border management systems as well as EU databases, which means it will also reduce security risks. Due to the digitization of visa applications for the Schengen area, visa applications will be processed on a single online platform that will allow applicants to find out which country will receive their application,” the European Parliament also reports.
The authors of the initiative are sure that a “modern, convenient digital solution” will be much more convenient. And also that replacing the visa sticker with a digital visa will reduce the security risks associated with physical stickers. However, the new system will somehow have to provide “guarantees for people who do not have digital literacy”, so maybe some paper stickers will be saved. There will also be purely technical issues to deal with, such as the possibility of rejecting some applications if they are submitted from the same IP address, “which may be the case in some areas with poor Internet connectivity.”
In general, this initiative was adopted by a majority of votes — 34 to 5, with another 20 abstentions. As a result, the EU Parliament will announce interdepartmental negotiations in this case.