Travellers from developing countries who wish to visit the European Union’s (EU) border-free Schengen area will soon be able to apply for their visa online, as two new regulations were adopted on Monday by the EU Council.
“The possibility of applying for a Schengen visa online will be a great improvement for citizens and for the processing of the applications,” Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gomez, Spain’s acting minister of interior, said.
“It will simplify the application process for travellers and at the same time will ease the burden on national administrations, which will be able to respond more quickly and effectively,” he added.
The two new regulations will create an EU visa application platform, where all relevant documents could be uploaded and visa fees be paid.
However, in-person applications at consulates are still required for first-time applicants, people whose biometric data are no longer valid and people with new travel documents.