Legislative proposal on digital seals for visas submitted to Parliament
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has prepared a legislative proposal for an act amending the Aliens Act, proposing that provisions on the powers of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency relating to the security features of visas issued by Finland be added to the Act. The Government submitted the proposal to Parliament on 17 February. The Act is scheduled to enter into force in spring 2022.
The proposed provisions are based on the obligation laid down in EU legislation under which the Member States must add a digital seal on the visas they issue. The European Commission has found that the security of visas issued by EU Member States has been compromised, and several cases of visa forgery have been detected in Member States. For this reason, the security features of visas issued by the Member States must be improved. A certificate for digital seals will protect visas against alterations, thus ensuring their authenticity and integrity. The digital seal makes it possible to prevent the misuse of visas more effectively.
The EU regulation on the security features of visas is directly applicable legislation, which is why there is no need to significantly amend the national legislation. However, provisions on the relevant powers must be added to the national legislation to enable the national implementation of the obligation to add digital seals on visas, arising from the EU regulation.
According to the proposal, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs would be responsible for ensuring that visas issued by Finland have the security features required under EU legislation. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency would have the powers to produce the certificate for digital seals and the signature service.
Minna-Kaisa Liukko, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 351 053
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