The European Union’s foreign affairs ministers have endorsed a significant change, paving the way for individuals applying for Schengen visas to do so through an online platform. This development, announced on Monday, is expected to streamline the visa application process for the Schengen Area, encompassing 27 European countries.
Currently, Ecuadorians seeking entry into Europe must apply for a Schengen visa. The conventional process involves obtaining a visa label affixed to their passport, often requiring appointments at consulates or service provider offices.
The shift towards digitizing the visa process signifies the elimination of the need for physical visa labels. Consequently, applicants will no longer have to schedule appointments, marking a departure from the traditional consulate or service provider office visits.
The Schengen visa, governing entry to 27 European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, will now undergo a digital transformation. The new online platform, once operational, will allow applicants to input relevant information, upload electronic copies of travel documents and supporting paperwork, and complete the necessary payment procedures.
Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the acting Spanish Minister of the Interior, stated in a press release that the ability to apply for a Schengen visa online will not only simplify the application process but also alleviate the burden on national administrations. This digitalization is expected to lead to faster and more efficient responses from authorities.
Read More: Empowering Women for Peace
The two visa-related regulations approved today will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will come into effect 20 days after publication. This move towards a digital application process marks a progressive step in enhancing accessibility and efficiency for those seeking entry to the Schengen Area.