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Biometric identifiers

1. Member States shall collect biometric identifiers of the applicant comprising a photograph of him and his 10 fingerprints in accordance with the safeguards laid down in the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

2. At the time of submission of the first application, the applicant shall be required to appear in person. At that time, the following biometric identifiers of the applicant shall be collected:

— a photograph, scanned or taken at the time of application, and

— his 10 fingerprints taken flat and collected digitally.

3. Where fingerprints collected from the applicant as part of an earlier application were entered in the VIS for the first time less than 59 months before the date of the new application, they shall be copied to the subsequent application.

However, where there is reasonable doubt regarding the identity of the applicant, the consulate shall collect fingerprints within the period specified in the first subparagraph.

Furthermore, if at the time when the application is lodged, it cannot be immediately confirmed that the fingerprints were collected within the period specified in the first subparagraph, the applicant may request that they be collected.

NB! It's applicant's right not to submit fingerprints if submitted during the last 59 months. If the applicants submitted biometric data as part of an earlier application less than 59 months before the date of the new application, they shall be copied into the subsequent application. Applicants should not be obliged to personally submit their application.

4. In accordance with Article 9(5) of the VIS Regulation, the photograph attached to each application shall be entered in the VIS. The applicant shall not be required to appear in person for this purpose.

The technical requirements for the photograph shall be in accordance with the international standards as set out in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) document 9303 Part 1, 6th edition.

5. Fingerprints shall be taken in accordance with ICAO standards and Commission Decision 2006/648/EC of 22 September 2006 laying down the technical specifications on the standards for biometric features related to the development of the Visa Information System

6. The biometric identifiers shall be collected by qualified and duly authorised staff of the authorities competent in accordance with Article 4(1), (2) and (3). Under the supervision of the consulates, the biometric identifiers may also be collected by qualified and duly authorised staff of an honorary consul as referred to in Article 42 or of an external service provider as referred to in Article 43. The Member State(s) concerned shall, where there is any doubt, provide for the possibility of verifying at the consulate fingerprints which have been taken by the external service provider.

7. The following applicants shall be exempt from the requirement to give fingerprints:

(a) children under the age of 12;

(b) persons for whom fingerprinting is physically impossible. If the fingerprinting of fewer than 10 fingers is possible, the maximum number of fingerprints shall be taken. However, should the impossibility be temporary, the applicant shall be required to give the fingerprints at the following application. The authorities competent in accordance with Article 4(1), (2) and (3) shall be entitled to ask for further clarification of the grounds for the temporary impossibility. Member States shall ensure that appropriate procedures guaranteeing the dignity of the applicant are in place in the event of there being difficulties in enrolling;

(c) heads of State or government and members of a national government with accompanying spouses, and the members of their official delegation when they are invited by Member States’ governments or by international organisations for an official purpose;

(d) sovereigns and other senior members of a royal family, when they are invited by Member States’ governments or by international organisations for an official purpose.

8. In the cases referred to in paragraph 7, the entry ‘not applicable’ shall be introduced in the VIS in accordance with Article 8(5) of the VIS Regulation.