LUXEMBERG - The digitalization of Schengen Visa is likely to be executed soon as the European Union Commission has officially launched consultations on the matter.
The Commission says that the move is aimed at establishing a uniform standard for digital travel documents used in the Schengen Area so that EU citizens get to travel under facilitated rules.
“We want to contribute to smooth travel across EU borders. That’s why we are launching a public consultation on the digitalisation of travel documents and the facilitation of travel. The contributions will help establish a uniform standard in the Schengen area,” EU Commission wrote on its official Twitter account.
The consultation started on April 5th and would continue till June 28, 2023 after which a decision would be made on most interesting yet debatable topic the EU has faced. Those how want to give input can navigate to the website and give their input.
A statement on the official website read that the public consultation was open and input will be taken into account as the initiative is further developed and fine-tuned.
'We will summarise the input we receive in a synopsis report, explaining how we have taken it into account,' it said while highlighting that the consultation is addressed to citizens, civil society, industry and other stakeholders.
As far as the rationale behind the consultation is concerned, the EU Commission said it will give stakeholders a chance to share their views, in particular 'concerning the way the initiative contributes to security and the protection of the EU’s internal and external borders, facilitates the exercise of free movement within the EU' as well as safeguards the protection of data subject’s rights and fundamental rights.
Earlier, when the debate was being conducted in the EU parliament, as many as 34 votes were cast in favour of the digitization which will replace conventional visa stickers with an online portal though first timers might still not get the facility.
The details on the process are still not clear but tour operators across the world are unanimous in supporting the change and opine that this would help Europe improve its reputation as a tourist destination.
The tour operators are also of the opinion that by processing digitally, one would have their passports in hand and would have the liberty to apply for more visas simultaneously. The problems in getting appointment also prompts some to altogether change their destination but with digitization, their plans would remain intact.
What is Schengen Zone
The zone was created in 1985 and allows people and goods to travel freely, usually without showing travel or customs documents. This creates oppurtunities for tourism related revenue for the countries and offers virtually no hurdle for travelers.
The following are part of the zone along with Croatia:
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
As far as the visa requirements are concerned, the Schengen zone allows nationals of certain countries to enter the Schengen Area via air, land or sea without a visa for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period, while determining the criteria others must meet when making similar visits to Schengen states.
Nationals of EU countries are not only visa-exempt but are legally entitled to enter and reside within each other's borders visa free. This freedom of movement can, however, be limited in rare cases, as stipulated by EU treaties.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Sunday.
On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 283.4 for buying and 285.95 for selling.
Euro comes down to 307 for buying and 310 for selling. British Pound rate remains unchanged at 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||358.5||362|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.37||36.72|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||175.33||177.33|
Gold prices decreased in local markets in line with the trend in the international market.
On Sunday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs216,300, and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs185,450.
Single tola of 22 Karat Gold price costs Rs198,274, 21 karat rate per tola costs Rs189,263 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,225 for each tola.
In the global market, gold prices hovers around $2,004 per ounce, after drop of $23.35 on Sunday.
|Lahore||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Karachi||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Islamabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Peshawar||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Quetta||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Sialkot||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Attock||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Gujranwala||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Jehlum||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Multan||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Gujrat||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Nawabshah||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Chakwal||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Hyderabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Nowshehra||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Sargodha||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Faisalabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Mirpur||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|