Launch of the Visa Information System in the Eastern Partnership Countries (27/04/2015)
Starting 23 June 2015, Schengen States' consulates operating in Eastern Partnership countries, including in Belarus, will start entering applicants' alphanumerical* and biometric data** in the Visa Information System (VIS). The Visa Information System is a central database that supports exchange of data on short-stay visas between Schengen States with a view to increase security and facilitate visa procedures.
Since 2011, the Visa Information System has been gradually introduced in both the Schengen States' consulates and the border crossing points of the Schengen Area.
Starting 23 June 2015, all visa applicants who have reached the age of 12 will have to appear in person when lodging the application as consulates will enter in the Visa Information System the biometric data** of all visa applicants above the age of 12.
Visa applicants' biometric data will be kept in the central database of the Visa Information System for up to 59 months and used again for processing all further visa applications of the same applicant in any Consulate or Embassy of the Schengen Area.
*Including the applicant's name, his/her nationality, his/her place of residence, his/her occupation, the number of the travel document, the type of visa requested, the main destination and the duration of the intended stay, the intended border of first entry, the details of the inviting person.
**fingerprints and digital photograph