Since 12 October 2015, Schengen Visa authorities have made it mandatory for all the applicants to submit biometric data when applying for Schengen Visa.
The biometric data includes ten fingerprints and a photo. Once submitted, the biometric data for Schengen Visa application is stored in the Visa Information System (VIS), an online data-storage system allowing member states of the Schengen Agreement to exchange visa data. The main motif behind crafting VIS is to facilitate the issuance of the Schengen Visas to the itinerants and to improve security at border checks through enhanced control and monitoring.
How to submit biometric data?
In order to submit biometric data, the applicant is required to come to the nearby Visa Application Center. ADS and Bona Fide applicants are also legally bound to submit biometric data at the nearby Visa Application Center.
Once submitted, the itinerant enjoys the facility to use it for future visa applications for a period of 59 months. In simple terms, the biometric data remains valid for a period of six years.
But the biometric data submitted in connection with a residence permit is not valid when applying for Schengen Visa. So, if the itinerant has previously submitted biometric data for the Residence Permit application and he is going to apply for Schengen Visa, he will resubmit the biometric data for Schengen Visa application once again.
It is important to note, that if for some reason fingerprints are not found in VIS, the applicant will have to visit VAC to be fingerprinted again.
Applicants can ask the fingerprints to be taken every time when applying for a visa.
The staffers will collect biometric data using a discreet, non-intrusive and quick process. A digital camera collects facial image while a digital finger scanner is used to collect 10-digit fingerprint. Make sure that your face must be clearly visible for a photograph to be taken. It means:
The applicant cannot give facial image if his hair covers the eyes,
Come up wearing a scarf or hat that obscures the neck, hair or face (with the exception of religious head coverings detailed below:
If you wear a head or neck covering for religious reasons you must ensure your face is clearly visible, from the bottom of your chin to above your eyebrows including both cheeks. You may need to remove your glasses when the photograph is taken.
If you have cut or damaged your fingertips, you should visit with the Visa Application Centre when the injury has healed.
If you have a temporary decoration, such as mehndi, you should advise the Visa Application Centre to determine whether a scan will be possible.
Applicants who are less than 12-year-old, those persons incapable of providing consent, or those physically unable to provide a fingerprint scan, will not need to provide biometrics.
If an applicant is between 12 to 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian will be asked to give consent and be present when biometrics is collected.