As of 14 September 2015 all Schengen State consulates in Russia are using the Visa Information System (VIS).
"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. The Agency is very pleased to inform all involved stakeholders of the smooth start of operations of the Visa Information System in Russia, one of the countries with the largest number of visa holders travelling to the EU" said Krum Garkov, Executive Director of eu-LISA.
The introduction of VIS in Russia follows the last roll-out that took place in September 2014 to the Western Balkans region and to Turkey. In May 2014 all Schengen State consulates in North America, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean and Australasia started to use VIS.
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 will be 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, will be recorded in the VIS central database. The VIS central database is secure and data will be processed in accordance with the highest data protection standards of the EU.
Exemptions from the fingerprinting requirement are provided for:
- children under the age of twelve;
- persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible;
- Heads of State and members of the national Governments, 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.
Everybody has the right to obtain communication of the data recorded in VIS related to him/her from the Schengen State which entered the data into the system. Any given person may also request that inaccurate data related to him/her be corrected and the data unlawfully recorded be deleted.
Factsheet on VISA Information System (VIS)