Format for short-stay visas (Schengen): Council confirms agreement on the update of security features in the visa sticker

On 3 May 2017, EU ambassadors confirmed on behalf of the Council the informal agreement reached with the European Parliament on the proposal for a regulation amending regulation 1683/1995 laying down a uniform format for visas.

This regulation establishes a new common design for the visa sticker to update its security features in order to prevent forgery. The current visa sticker, which has been in circulation for 20 years, is considered to have been compromised given various serious incidents of counterfeiting and fraud.

“This is an important development – a more secure format of the visa sticker is another step forward in the fight against the counterfeiting of documents and therefore progress in our efforts to enhance the security of the EU and the Schengen area.”

Carmelo Abela, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta

Following this confirmation of the agreement, the text of the regulation will be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading and subsequently to the Council for adoption.

Ireland and the United Kingdom will not be subject to the application of the new measures, in accordance with the protocols annexed to the EU treaties. However, upon a request from these member states, the Commission shall enter into arrangements with them to exchange technical information in relation to the format for national visas issued by them.