EU announces name of new platform for Digital Schengen visa applications

December 09, 2023
The European Commission has advanced the implementation of the digitalization of Schengen visas by publishing changes to the rules on Schengen visas and the free movement of third country nationals within border areas. Through the new updated regulations, the EU has revealed further details on the new platform, including its name, and transitioning period from the traditional in-person application procedures to online. The transition period will take up to seven years, and the Member States will have the option to refuse using the EU VAP if they want to. Throughout this period, in case a Member State decides it wants to join the platform, the same should notify the Commission and eu-LISA. On the other hand, the name of the platform that will be used for digital visa applications will be the EU Visa Application Platform (EU VAP), and its domain will end in, like all official EU websites. According to the updated regulations, Schengen visas will now embrace a digital format, which will include 2D barcode cryptographically signed by the Country Signing Certificate Authority of the issuing Member State. The digital visas will feature the facial image of the visa holder and will also be printable. All travellers, regardless of their origin or their country of destination, will be able to apply for a Schengen visa through this platform. The same will automatically determine which Member State is responsible for processing the application and will also store it temporarily and strictly for as long as this is necessary for the completion of relevant tasks. Applicants will have to show up at the embassy in only very specific occasions, like when they apply for the first time for a Schengen visa, or they have a new document of travel. Other amendments to the regulation state that:
  • Visa fees are to be paid through an EU VAP-linked gateway, transferring payments directly to the relevant Member State. Electronic payment details won’t be stored in the VIS, and if electronic payment isn’t possible, consulates or authorized service providers will collect the visa fee.
  • Local Schengen cooperation may decide to use commonly spoken unofficial languages for translating application forms in specific cases.
  • Applicants shall receive electronic notifications for any possible updates or new information related to their application or visa status.
The amendments also foresee for EU systems like the Entry Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to use the EU VAP as much as possible, while also considering the current limits of technology and the investments made by Member States in their national systems.

You May Like