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Official launch of the Consular Services Portal – pilot phase for online visa applications

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The consular services portal of the Federal Foreign Office, © Federal Foreign Office

14.07.2022 - Article

At Germany’s missions abroad in Belgrade, Kolkata and São Paulo applications for the EU Blue Card are now being accepted online. Holders can take up employment within the EU. At the end of this year, the pilot phase for online passport applications for German citizens will begin.

The Federal Foreign Office is making every effort to ensure that the new Consular Services Portal will become a one-stop shop for requesting services online from Germany’s missions abroad. In a first step, skilled workers in the districts of Germany’s Embassy in Belgrade, the Consulate General in Kolkata and the  Consulate General in São Paulo are now able to submit applications for the EU Blue Card online.

Applicants will still need to show up at the visa office – however only to submit their biometric data, including fingerprints, and pay the corresponding fee.

How the online application process works

Applications are made online via the Consular Services Portal (https://digital.diplo.de). On the website, applicants can create and log into their user account and then digitally submit any application that is available on the portal. They will provide the same information they would when filling out the application on paper. All proof and supporting documents can be uploaded to the portal as PDFs.

Once the online application and all supporting documents have been submitted, the mission’s staff will check to see if the application is complete. They will request that information be corrected if necessary and will make an appointment with the applicant for submission of biometric data. For legal reasons, confirmation of identity and the taking of photographs and fingerprints, as well as the payment of the processing fee, must still be done at the mission abroad. However, thanks to the online application, all preparations will already be in place for this appointment at the mission, making it shorter and more efficient.

Applications can be submitted on a PC, tablet or smartphone. Applicants can also log in at any time and view the processing status of their application. There is, however, no obligation to submit an application online. This can still be done in person at the mission abroad.

Looking ahead

The pilot phase will enable online applications in Belgrade, Kolkata and São Paulo. Experience gained in Belgrade and Kolkata will then be drawn upon when expanding the Consular Services Portal to other missions abroad.

A second pilot project for online passport applications for adults is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2022. This new procedure, too, will first be tested at four missions abroad, before being rolled out at other locations.

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