Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

Introduction of Visa Information System in Schengen States

14/11/2013 - 00:00
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The EU Delegation to Malaysia informs that as from 14 November 2013 all Schengen States' consulates in Malaysia will use the Visa Information System (VIS).

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The VIS is a central database for the exchange of data on short-stay (up to three months) visas between Schengen States. The main objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border as well as to enhance security.

On 14 November, VIS will also start operations in Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Start of VIS means in particular that visa applicants lodging their applications with a Schengen Consulate will be required to provide 10 fingerprints and a digital photograph for their first application as from 14 November 2013. For third countries benefiting from the visa waiver their nationals will not be subject to the VIS procedures.  (NB this is the case for Malaysian nationals).

Since Malaysia currently enjoys a visa waiver for its nationals for Schengen visa (for both tourist and business purposes), it is expected that the impact of this introduction will be limited for Malaysia; and mostly concentrated with other third country nationals requiring a Schengen visa and applying in Malaysia.

As of 14 November 2013, it is mandatory for third-country nationals, who require a visa to enter the Schengen Area to also submit biometric data (fingerprints) when applying for a visa, either for the purpose of a short stay (maximum of three months during any six-month period) or transit through the Member States of the European Union (EU).

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.

In addition the respective Embassy may ask you to appear in person regardless of a prior visa application where fingerprints were submitted.

Persons exempted from the requirements of giving their fingerprints are:
- Children under the age of 12
- Persons for whom fingerprinting is physically impossible. However, should the impossibility be temporary, the applicant shall be required to give the fingerprints at the following application. The authorities shall be entitled to ask for further clarification of the grounds for the temporary impossibility.
- Heads of State and members of national governments and members of their official delegation when invited by the Member States’ governments or by an international organization for an official purpose,

More information about VIS, fingerprints, data protection and legal background

You should also check websites of the relevant country/Schengen state' Consulate in Malaysia you are applying for.

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