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Visa Information System (VIS) from 15 May 2014

May 08, 2014

The VIS is a central database for the exchange of data on short-stay (up to three months) visas between Schengen States.

The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland hereby announces that as from 15 May 2014 all Schengen States' consulates in the United States of America will use the Visa Information System (VIS).
For the purpose of the VIS, applicants will be required to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and a digital photograph) when applying for a Schengen visa.

It is a simple and discreet procedure that only takes a few minutes. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in the VIS central database. The recourse to biometric technology will protect visa applicants better against identity theft and prevent false identifications, which in certain cases lead to refuse a visa or entry to a person who is entitled to enter.  It is used commonly in the EU to make travel documents more secure (e.g. for the issuance of passports to EU citizens including diplomatic passports holders). 

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;
  • Sovereigns and other senior members of a royal family, when they are invited by Member States' governments or by international organisations for an official purpose.