1.9 What is the Visa Information System (VIS)?

As of the 20th November 2015, all over the world, Schengen Member States are linked to the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS stores the biometric data (10 fingerprints and the facial image) of visa applicants for 5 years. Therefore, personal appearance of all applicants for a Schengen visa is mandatory, except for:

Once your biometric data have been captured and once your Schengen visa has been issued, either bearing the mention ‘VIS’ or issued post October 2015, your personal appearance won’t be needed within a period of 59 months. The copy of this visa sticker will be requested for any new visa application without personal appearance, as following visas will use the stored biometric data.

Applicants will have the choice to either appear personally or to be represented by an authorized third party:

However, please note that if biometric data reveals non-compliant, personal appearance will be requested.