KOMPAS.com - Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) have approved a plan to modernize the visa application procedures in the Schengen area by moving from physical applications and visa stickers to a digital system on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
According to a report on SchengenVisaInfo.com, the EU Parliament said that digital visa applications would speed up the process, reduce the efforts and costs required to make an application, and would promote security.
“By digitalizing the visa application process for the Schengen area, the proposal aims to reduce the costs and efforts required to make an application, while ensuring harmonious practices throughout Europe and improving its security,” SchengenVisaInfo.com quoted the statement of the EU Parliament.
By applying online, visa applications for the Schengen area would be processed in a single online platform which would let applicants know which country will receive their application.
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MEPs also assured that certain visa applications do not get refused when they are filed from the same IP address, which may be the case in some areas that have poor internet connectivity. MEPs also argue that IP addresses should be processed or collected as part of the visa application.
It was previously reported that based on the MEPs, the report on the digitalization of visa procedures in the Schengen area was adopted with 34 votes in favor, five against, and 20 abstentions.
The EU Parliament is now expected to announce the inter-institutional negotiations on the file. If there are no objections, negotiations on the final details can begin.
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A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any member of the Schengen Area for tourism or business purposes up to 90 days per stay.
The Schengen zone includes the 27 countries that have signed the Schengen agreement, which allows citizens of member countries to travel within the zone freely without passing through passport and border control. Croatia has recently joined the Schengen zone of Jan. 1, 2023.
The member countries of the Schengen zone, among others, comprise Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Norway.
(Writer: Ni Nyoman Wira Widyanti | Editor: Ni Nyoman Wira Widyanti)
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