The Digitalisation Agenda of the Federal Foreign Office and German Immigration Offices

PH & Co
20 Nov 2023

The immigration industry has been steadily embracing digitalisation, and this trend is expected to evolve even further as time progresses.

Throughout the past several years, many governments have transitioned their immigration applications online. Online forms are becoming increasingly sophisticated, guiding applicants through the process and allowing for uploads of necessary documents directly into the systems.

Governments have also started developing mobile applications to provide information and services to immigrants and travellers. These applications often include features such as visa information, local regulations, emergency contacts and real-time updates on application statuses.

The Digitalisation Agenda: A Vision for Efficiency and Accessibility

In an era where digital transformation is the driving force behind administrative efficiency and citizen convenience, government bodies worldwide are embracing innovative technologies to streamline their processes.

Germany, known for its meticulous planning and efficiency, is no exception. One of the areas where the digital revolution is making a significant impact is at the Federal Foreign Office. This blog explores the Digitalisation Agenda of the Federal Foreign Office, focusing on how online portals of German immigration authorities are reshaping the immigration landscape.

The Digitalisation Agenda of the Federal Foreign Office is a comprehensive strategy aimed at enhancing operational efficiency, ensuring data security and providing accessible services to both German citizens and foreign nationals. By utilizing modern technologies, the German government seeks to transform bureaucratic processes into user-friendly, transparent and swift experiences.

The Consular Services Portal

An illustrative example of the Digitalisation Agenda of the Federal Foreign Office in practice is the launch of a digital platform for passport renewals, visa applications and emergency assistance services for travellers – the Consular Services Portal (“Das Auslandsportal”).

During the ongoing pilot phase, online applications only for certain visa types are available on the Portal and only at selected German missions. In the testing period, the Federal Foreign Office has focused on qualified professionals, which allows for a better response to the requirements of the Immigration Act for Skilled Workers.

Thus, currently, the Portal allows for applications for a visa based on the EU Blue Card, a visa for skilled workers with an academic degree, a visa for skilled workers with professional training as well as for a visa for IT specialists. Online services will gradually expand to other German missions and visa types.

Applicants enjoy clear advantages when using the online services of the Consular Services Portal. First, uploaded documents will be checked, and any queries or uncertainties will be clarified in advance with the German mission to ensure that the applicant is well-prepared for the in-person appointment. Second, the Portal provides real-time updates on application status. Third, the user account and the processing of data are subject to strict security requirements, which ensure secure communication with the respective German mission – contrary to unencrypted e-mails. One more important feature is that one can easily access the Consular Services Portal on any PC, tablet, or smartphone.

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PH & Co

9F, 417, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 06097 Republic of Korea.

T. +82-2-549-9901     F. +82-2-546-9901     E. phco@phcolaw.com

ⓒ 2021 ~ 2023 PH & Co. All Rights Reserved.