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EU Commission Predicts Faster Schengen Visa Processing Through Digitalisation Spain News

The European Union Commission's recent announcement underscores the significant influence of digitalisation on Schengen visa processing times.

Speaking to, Anitta Hipper, the European Commission Spokesperson for Home Affairs, highlighted how the digitalisation of Schengen visa procedures promises to streamline the application process, potentially eliminating prolonged waiting periods for decision outcomes.

Hipper emphasised that "The digitalisation of the visa procedure means that Member States will process digital applications and issue visas digitally. This will reduce the administrative burden associated with handling paper applications, visa stickers, and contribute to improving the processing time."

The European Parliament and the Council collaborated to establish the regulations governing the digitalisation of visa procedures, with the goal of modernising, simplifying, and harmonising visa processes for third-country nationals applying for visas, as well as for EU Member States responsible for visa issuance.

As stated by Hipper, digitalisation will revamp two core facets of the visa procedure:

Firstly, the EU Visa Application platform will provide applicants with a unified and seamless process, sparing them the costs and effort of travelling to consulates or visa application centres.

Secondly, visas will be issued in a digital format, digitally linked to the traveller's document.

"This means that visa applicants do not have to leave their travel document at the consulate or Visa Application Centre to add a visa sticker, plus no costs to get the travel document back” said Hipper.

However, Hipper also acknowledged that various factors influence Schengen visa application processing times. The Schengen Member States have experienced a surge in visa applications following the pandemic, which has strained processing procedures. Delays have been particularly noticeable during peak holiday seasons. To address this, Hipper revealed that the Commission has urged all Member States to bolster their operational capacities and mitigate the issue by increasing appointment availability.

Some Member States have reported regular system updates to ensure smooth application processes for all. They have also disclosed their practice of augmenting staffing levels according to demand to ensure that all applications are processed within reasonable timeframes.