The Schengen Visa Information System, first introduced in 2011, will contain information on all Schengen Visa applicants in the future. The use of this Visa Information System expands to all countries during 2015.
For the Visa applicants the biggest change with the unified system is that fingerprints are collected from all applicants when applying. This means that the applications must be submitted in person.
From the member state’s national visa information systems, certain details are transferred to the shared Visa Information System. These details include the biometric data, i.e. facial scan and fingerprints. From this system, the consulates and other competent authorities of the member states may procure information concerning Visa applications and decisions related to these. The purpose of the unified system is to improve the internal security in the member states as well as fight the illegal migration. In addition, this supports the development of Schengen Visa policy.
The Schengen Visa Information System is next introduced in Russia on 14 September. Later this year the system is expanding to China, Japan and South Korea on 12 October, and to India and Nepal on 2 November.