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EU council approves digitalization of Schengen visas: Here's what it means

06:55 PM | 13 Nov, 2023
EU council approves digitalization of Schengen visas: Here's what it means

BERLIN - Europe's Schengen visa application process is set to go digital, eliminating the need for stickers in passports, as announced by EU foreign ministers on Monday.

The new online platform will simplify the application process, allowing travelers to upload documents and pay fees digitally, and upon approval, applicants will receive a cryptographically signed barcode.

While this change aims to streamline the process, some first-time applicants or those with new passports may still require in-person appointments.

The Digitalization follows global trends, with countries like Australia already employing similar online visa systems. The initiative also aligns with broader plans, including the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and the automated EU Entry/Exit System (EES).

Commenting on the development, Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the online visa system will simplify the application process for travelers.

As far as the timeline for implementation is concerned, it will take effect three weeks after it is published in the EU's administrative gazette.

What is the 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.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 13 April 2024 Forex Rates

Pakistani currency remains largely same against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 13, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 12 April 2024

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