On November 13, the EU Council adopted new rules which will allow to file Schengen visa applications online.
The two regulations will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force on the twentieth day after publication. The date on which the new rules will enter into force depends on when technical work on the visa platform and the digital visa has been concluded.
The two regulations:
Establish an EU visa application platform, where, with some exceptions, Schengen visa applications will be submitted. Through this platform, applicants can input all relevant information, upload electronic copies of their travel documents and supporting materials, and complete their visa fee payments.
Eliminate the need for physical visits to the consulate in most cases. Generally, in-person appearances will only be required for first-time applicants, individuals with expired biometric data, and those holding a new travel document.
Substitute the existing visa sticker with a cryptographically signed barcode for enhanced security.