Biometric Data Collection
As from November 2, 2015 all applicants applying for a Schengen visa for the first time or applicants who have not previously given biometric data shall submit biometric data -ten fingerprints and a photo. Biometric data will be stored in the Visa Information System (VIS), which is an IT system that allows the Schengen States to exchange visa data. The main purpose of the VIS is to improve safety and to facilitate the issuance of visas and the control at external borders.
Visas applied before November 2, 2015 are valid without biometric data through the period of the validity.
After introducing the VIS, all applicants shall come to Visa Application Centre of Finland for biometric enrollment. Biometrics is requested only every 59 months; during 59 months the applicant can submit new visa applications without renewing the fingerprints. A visa application can be submitted via an accredited Tour Operator, but for the first application the applicant has to go to the VAC for biometrics.
It is important to note that if for some reason fingerprints cannot be found in the VIS, the applicant is requested to visit VAC to be fingerprinted again.
Applicant can request the fingerprints to be taken every time when applying for a visa for the following reasons:
- To avoid prolonged processing time of the application if for some reason the fingerprints are not found in VIS.
- For security reasons to confirm the identity of the applicant.
- If applicant does not remember when fingerprints were taken last time or is not sure if fingerprints have been taken before.
Exemptions from the biometrics collection: Children under the age of 12 and persons, who cannot provide any of their fingers to scan. However, minors and first time Schengen visa applicants are always required to submit their application in person.