Digital Schengen Visa: How It Can Transform International Travel


The European Union recently agreed to make the process of applying for a Schengen visa easier by introducing a digital system. This groundbreaking shift, spearheaded by Swedish Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard, will eliminate a traveler’s need to physically visit the consulate to apply for the visa. Those who are first-time applicants, and those who have new travel documents will still require a physical presence.

The digital platform will allow the applicants to share their necessary data and soft copies of their travel documents in a secure manner. After the applicants pay the visa fees, the digital platform will identify the relevant country for processing the application. Once granted, the digital platform will communicate the decision via the platform and will generate a digitally signed 2D barcode, concerning visa approval. This barcode will upgrade security measures, replacing the existing ‘SCh engen’ sticker. BLS international and VFS Global are the two companies which facilitate visa processing services.

VFS Global has been serving customers since 2001 and is the world’s largest visa and consular services service provider. It operates diplomatic missions and foreign embassies in 133 countries while offering convenient and secure visa and passport processing across the globe. Their successful track record and client loyalty has grown in proportion to their expanding network, and their online platform has helped them serve customers quickly and effectively.

Maria Malmer Stenergard is a Swedish Minister for Migration. She believes that introducing a digital visa system is a potential solution to making the Schengen area safer, as it will make it easier for genuine travellers to apply their visa. She has been vocal about her views and has agitated for increased safety solutions. She believes that the new system can also help in reducing fraudulent activities in the visa process and will ultimately strengthen the visa process.