Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulations (EC) No 767/2008, (EC) No 810/2009 and (EU) 2017/2226, Council Regulations (EC) No 1683/95, (EC) No 333/2002, (EC) No 693/2003 and (EC) No 694/2003 and Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement, as regards the digitalisation of the visa procedure

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2022) 658
Publication Date 27/04/2022
Content Type


Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 27 April 2022, introducing amendments to a number of legislative acts as regards the digitalisation of the visa procedure.

Further information:

The European Union's (EU) common visa policy is deemed essential to ensure the security and proper functioning of the external borders of the Schengen area. Since the entry into force of the Visa Code in 2010 and the operational launch of the Visa Information System (VIS) in 2011, the environment in which the visa policy operates changed significantly. Not only migration and security challenges have increased over the years, considerable technological development introduces new opportunities for the visa application process.

While visa processing is already partially digitalised, two important steps remain paper-based - the visa application process and the visa sticker. These steps are seen as a burden for all stakeholders. Member States are aware of this and some of them partially digitised their application process to make it more efficient and user-friendly.

The Council Presidency launched in 2017 a discussion on options to improve the existing visa process in the Council's Visa Working Party. The European Commission adopted a Communication in March 2018 on adapting the common visa policy to the emerging challenges and to launch a reflection on the move towards digital visas. A feasibility study on the digitalisation of visa procedures was carried out in 2019. A project to develop an EU platform prototype was also delivered by eu-LISA in 2020-2021. The Commission's New Pact on Migration and Asylum from 2020 set the objective of making the visa procedure fully digitalised by 2025.

This draft law seeks to modernise, simplify and harmonise the visa application process by digitalising the visa procedure. It also aims to reduce risks of fraud, forgery and facilitate the verification process at the border through digitalisation. It establishes a single online platform allowing travelers to submit an application (and pay the application fee) online for a Schengen visa regardless of the Schengen country they want to visit.

The proposal was adopted by the European Commission on 20 April 2022. The European Parliament adopted its negotiating position as regards this draft law on 7 February 2023. The Council of the European Union adopted a general approach for this file on 29 March. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 13 June.

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Commentary and Analysis
KPMG: GMS Flash Alert, 07/04/2023: European Union – Digitalisation of Visa Procedures

EUR-LEX: SWD(2022)658: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact Assessment Report
EUR-LEX: SWD(2022)659: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Report
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Schengen area: digitalisation of the visa procedure (2022/0132(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Digitalisation of visa procedures
European Commission: Policies: Visa policy
General Secretariat of the Council: Policies: EU visa policy
European Commission: Have Your Say: Entering the EU - online visa application process and digital visa
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 29/03/2023: Schengen visa: Council agrees negotiating mandate on the digitalisation of the visa procedure
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 13/06/2023: Council and European Parliament agree on rules to digitalise the visa procedure
European Commission: Press Release, 13/06/2023: Schengen visa: Political agreement on digitalisation of visa application

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