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What is Biometric Data Submission for Schengen Visa Application?


If you’re on your way to apply for Schengen Visa, at one point or another, you will stumble on term Biometric Data submission for visa application. If this term is new for you and you know nothing about the procedure, you need not worry as we’ve got you covered in this article.

Schengen Area

Schengen Area comprises of as many as 26 European countries. The signatories to this powerful block have abolished their national borders in favor of a uniform border. All members implement and follow the same visa practices and procedures.

Schengen Visa

Schengen Visa is issued by those countries that are signatories to this agreement. If this visa is issued to you, it grants you the power and the right to travel to all of the Schengen countries. The holder of Schengen Visa can stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days within the cycle of 180 days.

Schengen Visa is further classified into several categories including Schengen Tourist Visa, Schengen Education Visa, Schengen Medical Visa, and Schengen Business Visa.

Biometric Data Submission for Schengen Visa

Let’s now decipher the phrase of biometric data submission for Schengen Visa.

Since October 2015, authorities have made it mandatory for all the applicants to submit biometric data at the nearest Visa Information System (VIS).

VIS, being an updated and secure IT application, stores your biometric data which is then accessed by authorities to verify credentials of the applicant applying for Schengen Visa. The system also allows the Schengen States to exchange data. The main purpose of the VIS is to facilitate the visa application procedures and control at external borders of the Schengen Area, as well as to improve safety.

Process of Biometric Data Submission for Schengen Visa

To submit biometric data for Schengen Visa application purposes, the itinerant must visit the nearest Visa Application Center. Here officials will collect a scan of ten fingerprints and also get a digital photograph of the applicant. Once submitted, the data remains valid for a duration of 59 months.

However, 10-digit finger scans are not required from children under the age of 12 or from people who physically cannot provide finger scans.

Should I Submit Biometric Data Each Time I apply for Schengen Visa?

As stated above, once you submit biometric data for the Schengen Visa application’s purpose, it remains valid for a period of 59 months. It means that once you submit biometric data at the nearest visa application system, it can be reused countless times within a duration of 5 years.

Read Also: Schengen Visa Medical Insurance Guide

However, after 5 years have passed, you will submit biometric data again if you are going to apply for Schengen Visa.

Which countries use VIS and who operates it?

As a Schengen instrument, VIS applies to all Schengen States (Denmark has decided to implement it). The EU Agency for large-scale IT systems, eu-LISA, is responsible for the operational management of VIS.

Who can access VIS?

Competent visa authorities may consult the VIS for the purpose of examining applications and decisions related thereto.

The authorities responsible for carrying out checks at external borders and within the national territories have access to search the VIS for the purpose of verifying the identity of the person, the authenticity of the visa or whether the person meets the requirements for entering, staying in or residing within the national territories.

Asylum authorities only have access to search the VIS for the purpose of determining the EU State responsible for the examination of an asylum application.

In specific cases, national authorities and Europol may request access to data entered into the VIS for the purposes of preventing, detecting, and investigating terrorist and criminal offenses.

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