Muscat: The EU Council has adopted new rules that allow people who plan to travel to the Schengen Area to apply online for a visa.
The date of the application of the new rules will be decided once the work on the visa platform and the digital visa has been completed.
The application will be made through a single EU visa application platform and the current visa sticker will be replaced with a cryptographically signed barcode, according to https://www.schengenvisainfo.com.
The new rule means that those who need a Schengen visa will soon be able to apply for the document online, without having to visit a consulate or embassy and wait for a long time to receive an answer on their application, SchengenVisaInfo.com said.
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In 2022, Schengen consulates in Oman received a total of 30,885 visa applications. Among these, 23,430 visas were approved, while 2,287 applications were denied, representing approximately 7.4 percent of the total.
Acting Spanish minister for the interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez, said that the online application process will have a positive impact on citizens as well as on administrative processes.
He further stressed that the online application system is expected to streamline the entire process, allowing national administrations to respond to visa requests more swiftly and effectively.
The possibility of applying for a Schengen visa online will be a great improvement for citizens and for the processing of the application. It will simplify the application process for travelers and, at the same time, will ease the burden on national administrations, which will be able to respond more quickly and effectively.
The key development is the creation of an EU visa application platform. with only a few exceptions, Schengen visa applications will transition to this user-friendly online platform. Schengen visa applicants will be able to enter all necessary information, upload electronic copies of their travel and supporting documents, and pay their visa fees.
Moreover, through the same platform, applicants will receive notifications on their visa decision.
The platform will automatically determine the country that will process applications for those who plan to visit multiple Schengen Member States. However, applicants will continue to be able to indicate if they wish their application to be processed by a specific country according to the purpose of their travel
This digital shift promises efficiency and convenience, making a significant departure from the traditional paperwork.
In addition, under the new regulations, physical appearances at consulates will become largely unnecessary, except for first-time applicants, individuals with a new travel document, and those with expired biometric data.
This reduction in in-person requirements aims to simplify the process, making it more accessible and less burdensome for everyone.
Moreover, in line with the new rules, the visa sticker will be replaced with a more secure and sophisticated cryptographically signed barcode.