The Visa Information System VIS is an IT system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data. The main purpose of VIS is to simplify visa issuance processes, facilitate checks at border control and enhance security for everyone involved, including applicants.
VIS works by linking Schengen member state missions and border control units to VIS central database.
The introduction of VIS has necessitated various changes to Schengen visa application processes.
- First time applicants must apply in person in order to have biometric data taken, e.g. ten fingerprints and a digital photograph
- Finger scans stored in VIS can be reused for future applications within the following five years
- When entering Schengen territory border control will be able to verify each travellers identity by accessing VIS database