EGDF response on the Digitalisation of visa procedures Questionnaire for the public consultation

The games industry relies on immigration infrastructure that ensures the free movement of industry talent and minimal bureaucratic burden for industry professionals.

European games industry conferences and trade shows play a crucial role in enabling cross-border knowledge transfer between industry professionals. Thus they should be easily accessible also for non-European industry experts. Furthermore, due to the talent shortage, the growth of the European games industry relies on talent immigration. Game developer studios recruit especially senior specialists from abroad. Their quick, reliable and easy access to onsite job interviews is a crucial part of the recruitment process. Due to the lack of risk-taking European venture capital inventors, many European game developer studios rely on access to Chinese or American equity funding. Successful onsite visits to European studios are an essential part of that investment process. 

EGDF supports the digital visa:

  • Identification should only be required once in five years. EGDF fully supports the initiative to introduce an online application system where identification would only be required for first-time applicants and then every five years. The proposed online system must be designed to be quick, user-friendly and predictable. The system must work reliably, and applicants can rely on the fact that the online application process does not take longer than a few days. 
  • Towards more interoperable immigrations systems and harmonised requirements for supporting documents: The digital visa application process should be fully integrated into the national portals managed by each member state. It would secure that the new digital visa system is integrated from the outset to the member states’ digital immigration system and designed in a way that the system is completely interoperable between EU member states.  However, there should be a single EU-level “EU digital embassy” setting harmonised EU level requirements for supporting documents and providing information and guidance on the application process for travellers.
  • The new system should fully explore the synergies between embassy networks of different EU member states: Ideally, the system would work in a way that embassies from different EU member states would be able to cover different parts of the process (e.g. the visa application is submitted to France, but identification takes place in a Dutch embassy, and the VISA is retrieved from a German embassy). This would make the new system much more user friendly, reduce the need for unnecessary travelling and thus limit the CO2 emissions caused by immigration bureaucracy and thoroughly explore the synergies of the vast embassy networks of different EU countries across the globe.
  • Harmonised public procurement standards: Some EU member states have outsourced their administrative processes related to residence permit applications to external service providers. The goal of outsourcing should be in making the process more effective, not to cut costs by making the process less reliable. 

The full position paper can be accessed here: http://www.egdf.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/202106-EGDF-response-on-Digitalisation-of-visa-procedures-Questionnaire-for-the-public-consultation.pdf.pdf

 EGDF approach on immigration is can be accessed here: http://www.egdf.eu/documentation/access-to-talent/access-to-top-global-talent-and-international-knowledge-transfer/