Plans for the digitalization of the Schengen Visa application process has been announced by the European Commission. The goal is to enable quicker and easier visa applications by non-EU nationals to travel to Schengen countries within the European Union.
The Schengen visa covers some popular destinations like Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.
The plans in place would allow travellers to apply for visas online through a united EU platform to any Schengen country.
This eliminates the need for non-EU nationals, including Nigerians, to have to get a sticker on their passport from consulates. An advantage of the digitalization is the reduced susceptibility to forgery.
The online platform would detail comprehensive information on visa requirements wherein applications will be able to create accounts, fill application forms, upload their documents, make payments for the visa and check the ptogtesd of their applications.
Visa extension will also be done online.
In person applications will still be mandatory for first time applicants as well as travellers with new documents and previous applicants with expired biometric data. This will enable them submite new biometric identifiers at the consulates.
The revamped system is set to come into effect by 2026 and needs approval by the European Parliament and Council.
Currently, around 102 countries require visas to visit the EU.