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Biometric Data Collection

From 14 September 2015 all applicants applying for a Schengen visa must 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 facilitate the issuance of visas and the control at external borders and to improve safety.

In order to submit their biometric data, all applicants must come to Visa Application Centre of Greece (or mission) the first time they apply for a visa from 14 September 2015. For subsequent applications within next 59 months the fingerprints will be copied from previous application file of the VIS.

Applicant can submit his application via accredited travel agency every time, but the first time in every 59 months applicant has to visit a Visa Application Centre to be fingerprinted.

It is important to note that in some cases, such as reasonable doubts regarding the identity of the applicant, the consulates will still have to collect fingerprints within this period of time.

Applicants can ask the fingerprints to be taken every time when applying for a visa:

  • In order to avoid prolonging processing time of the application if fingerprints are not found in VIS for some reason.
  • 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 obligation of fingerprinting are provided for:

  • children under the age of 12;
  • persons from whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible;
    Visas applied before 14 September 2015 are valid through the period of validity without biometric data.