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Biometric Data Information for Visa applicants

As of 2nd November 2015, all visa applicants will be required to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and a digital photograph) when applying for a Schengen visa. It is normally a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes.

When applying for the first time, all applicants will have to appear in person at the VFS Global or at the Embassy. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in the VIS database and stored for 59 months if the visa is granted. If biometric data have been taken within the last 59 months and is usable, the biometric data do not have to be retaken.

The VIS will contain all Schengen visa applications and the decisions taken by the Schengen States. This will facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border of the European Union, as well as enhance security. The recourse to biometric technology will protect visa applicants better against identity theft and prevent false identifications, which in certain cases lead to a refusal of a visa or entry to a person who is entitled to enter. This will also allow to establish more easily the lawful use of previous visas and applicant’s travel history (e.g., when applying for a multiple-entry visa).

Exemptions from the fingerprinting requirement are provided for a limited number of applicants, including:

  • children under the age of 12
  • persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible.
  • If travelling for official purposes, Head of State and members of the national government with other members taking part in the official delegation and spouses will also be exempted.
Last updated 19 Feb 2024, 2.48 PM