Biometric Data Collection
All applicants applying for a Schengen visa must submit biometric data - ten fingerprints and a photo. The 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 facilitate the issuance of visas and the control at external borders and to improve safety. More information can be found at the website of the European Union: click here
This means that in order to register their 10 fingerprints and their personal digital photo, all Schengen visa applicants will have to come to apply for a visa in person. Collection of biometric data does not apply to children under the age of 12 or people who physically cannot provide finger scans. Despite of this they still need to be in place when application is submitted.