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UAE Residents to Apply for Schengen Visas Online, Eliminating the Need for Appointments and Queues
In a recent development, UAE residents who wish to travel to Schengen countries may soon be able to apply for their visas online. This means that they would no longer need to go through the hassle of scheduling appointments, standing in queues, or submitting their passports to visa processing centers. The European Union (EU) is moving closer to digitalizing the visa application process, making it more efficient and secure for legitimate travelers.
The Swedish Minister for Migration, Maria Malmer Stenergard, expressed her support for the proposal, stating that “a digital Schengen visa will make it easier for legitimate travelers to apply and will at the same time help make the Schengen area safer.” She further explained that the online visa application system will reduce the number of trips that travelers need to make to the consulate and make the visa application process smoother for national administrations. Additionally, the digital visa will eliminate the risk of falsification and theft of the visa sticker.
Tour operators were also optimistic about the digital move and said that it would be a great step towards promoting Europe as a destination. For tourists, traveling to the 27 EU countries will become hassle-free since it can be challenging to get an appointment for the visa application. Submitting the passport to agencies and waiting for the visa stamp is also an inconvenience.
The proposed new rules will create a visa application platform where all applications for Schengen visas will be made through a single website. On this platform, visa applicants will be able to input all relevant data, upload electronic copies of their travel- and supporting documents, and pay their visa fees. They will also be notified of the decisions concerning their visa. An in-person appearance at the consulate will only be necessary for first-time applicants, persons whose biometric data are no longer valid, and those with a new travel document.