The European Union recently adopted new regulations on November 13, 2023, allowing individuals who intend to travel to the Schengen area to apply for a visa online. A new online system, expected to be fully operational by 2028, will be gradually implemented. The new rules will simplify, modernise, and standardise the visa application process by making it more digital, which will significantly benefit third-country nationals applying for a visa, including the citizens and residents of Kuwait. A digital visa will be issued. The EU Online Visa application platform will provide all necessary information regarding the requirements and procedures.
“The Schengen visa digitalisation is a positive step, and builds on the more favourable visa rules that were adopted in September 2023 for Kuwaiti nationals. Easing Schengen visa requirements for Kuwaiti citizens is one of my priorities, and it will facilitate people to people contacts in line with the EU’s Gulf Strategy. Until the new online visa system becomes operational in 2028, I encourage Schengen visa applicants in Kuwait to continue following the existing procedures issued by the concerned embassies in Kuwait,” said H.E. Anne Koistinen, European Union Ambassador to the State of Kuwait.
The EU will launch the online Visa platform in 2028. However, despite the new system, first-time applicants, individuals with expired biometric data, and those with a new travel document will still be required to visit Schengen Consular offices or service providers in person. Additionally, this new system will replace the current visa sticker with a cryptographically signed barcode.