European Council Approves Online Schengen Visa Applications

Schengen visa applicants in Maldives can now conveniently apply online through e-visa services following the European Council’s approval of new regulations on 13 November 2023. 

These regulations aim to streamline the visa application process for individuals intending to travel to the Schengen area, encompassing 27 European countries that have abolished internal border controls.

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Acting Spanish Minister for the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez, highlighted the benefits, stating that online visa applications would simplify travel and reduce the administrative burden on national authorities.

The approved regulations establish an EU visa application platform through which, with few exceptions, Schengen visa applications will be processed. The platform will allow applicants to input relevant data, upload electronic copies of travel documents, and pay visa fees.

In-person appearances at consulates will generally no longer be required, except for first-time applicants, individuals with expired biometric data, and those with a new travel document. The current visa sticker will also be replaced with a cryptographically signed barcode.

Upon signature, the regulations will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and become effective on the twentieth day after publication. The application date will be determined upon the completion of technical work on the visa platform and the digital visa.

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