CHANGES TO VISA INFORMATION SYSTEM REGULATION
The adopted regulation amending the Visa Information System is intended to:
- Make short-stay visa applications even more secure
- Add long-stay visas and residence permits to the VIS database
- Guarantee interoperability with other EU systems: Europol, ETIAS, EES, SIS, Eurodac, and ECRIS-TCN
A scanned copy of the biographical page of the travel document will now be included in the VIS database, and background checks will be increased.
Furthermore, the age at which children’s fingerprints will be obtained is being reduced from 12 to 6. This measure will aid in the search for missing children and the prevention of child trafficking.
The need of updating VIS was highlighted by Eduard Cabrita, Portugal’s Minister of Home Affairs, who stated:
“In recent years, the EU has worked constantly to enhance controls of persons entering the Schengen region, through the introduction of the travel authorisation system (ETIAS), the entry/exit system, and database interoperability.” The VIS upgrade is the next step in this approach. The new standards will allow for more thorough screening of visa applications in order to identify individuals who may constitute a security concern or who may be abusing our migration procedures.”
WHAT IS THE VISA INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR?
The Visa Information System is a database that helps with visa applications. VIS is used by border, migration, and immigration officials in EU member states for the reasons listed below.
VISA ISSUANCE AND BORDER CHECKS
Border guards can use VIS to ensure that the individual presenting a visa to enter the Schengen Area is the legitimate owner. They can also detect bogus visas from third-country nationals and prevent illicit EU border crossings.
Biometric information is a rapid and effective approach to verify a visa holder’s identification. When applying for a visa and crossing the border, fingerprints and a face photograph are obtained.
PREVENTING VISA MALPRACTICES
Although the EU states that the majority of individuals obey the regulations when applying for and travelling with a Schengen visa, mistakes do happen.
VIS aids in the prevention of abuses and fraudulent conduct such as visa shopping (see below).