Introduction of the Schengen Visa with biometric data

The new Visa Information System (VIS) has been introduced in the Russian Federation in all consulates and visa centers of the Schengen States. Each applicant is required to appear at the consulate or visa application center in person in order to provide biometric data (10 fingerprints and a digital photo). The children under 12 years and the individuals who are physically unable to provide fingerprints or a retinal scan are exempted from providing biometrical data. Biometric data shall be provided once every 5 years and is stored in a common Schengen database.

In the first weeks after the new rule introduction, the process of providing biometrics at consulates and visa centers of Germany, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Switzerland went without any major problems. Though, there are technical difficulties with fingerprint scanning at the Consulate of Hungary and the visa centers of Spain, which increase the filing time by 30 - 40 minutes on the average.

In general, the introduction of this procedure has not increased the processing time or caused any difficulties to the applicants, but as before, we recommend planning visits to visa centers in advance as the flow of applicants may increase.