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Project: Visa management by private companies in the Schengen area: mapping the phenomenon and its risks
Principal Investigator: María Luisa Sanchez Barrueco
Main external stakeholder: International Organization for Migration
Start date: 01/10/2011
End date: 31/12/2017
Interdisciplinary Platform/Area: Social Justice and Inclusion 

Social ImpactReduced inequalitiesSustainable cities and communities

PRIVACTOR-VISA aims to respond to the challenge of human mobility and the issue of visa processing outsourcing, the effects of which are felt significantly by a large and vulnerable population (MENA (unaccompanied foreign minors), disabled and elderly people).
The project is aligned with Sustainable Development Goals 10 (Reducing inequalities) and 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), as well as with the priorities defined in the context of societal challenges 6 (Europe in a changing world: Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies) and 7 (Secure societies: protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens) of the European Horizon 2020 Programme.
The project has allowed to:

  • at the scientific level, make a comprehensive study on the degree reached by visa management outsourcing practices in the Schengen area states, to identify the companies that manage visas on behalf of governments and assess the risks associated with their impact on consulates’ decision to grant visas to foreign citizens within the framework of the European Union. In particular:
    • provide evidence of how Member States are failing to comply with EU preventive rules in this area and the European Commission is not using its control powers over them.
    • provide criteria for the legislative update of the European Code on Visas by European legislators.
    • denounce the impact on migrants of a visa management that responds to profit purposes and not to more humane considerations.
  • the use of research results by the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the framework of the thematic sessions of the (Global Compact for Migration 2018)
  • the dissemination of results in high impact journals and on the media.