On 12 October 2015 EU Member States started using the Visa Information System (VIS) in China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan (collectively known as Region 19). Henceforth, all Member States have reported successful and effective interactions with the VIS Central System, both at consular and border level, for all visa activities. Throughout the first weeks of operation, eu-LISA remained in close contact with Member States, providing detailed reports and online interactive assistance to the national teams.
VIS is a central database for the exchange of data on short-stay (up to three months) visas between authorities of Schengen States. The main objectives of VIS are to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border as well as to enhance security.
In order to use VIS, applicants are required to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and a digital photograph) when applying for a Schengen visa. The collection of biometric data is a joint decision of the Schengen countries to better protect applicants against identity theft and prevent false identifications. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, is recorded in the VIS central database. The VIS central database is secure and data is processed in accordance with the highest data protection standards of the EU.
Factsheet on VISA Information System (VIS)