The VIS system enables Schengen states to share visa data with each other. It aims at simplifying the visa submission process, while also facilitating border control procedures at the Schengen external borders and improving safety, including that of the applicant.

The VIS informatic system was enforced on 11 October 2011, and was progressively adopted by the Visa Centers of the various member states of the Schengen area.

The German Diplomatic Representations in Russian Federation were linked to the VIS central database on 14.09.2015. Since then, applicants are required to have their fingerprints scanned.

Following the adoption of the VIS system:

  • Applicants are required to submit their first application for Schengen visa in person in order to have their biometric data recorded.
  • The above-mentioned biometric data are stored in the VIS database and can be accessed for 59 months thereafter, which means applicants will not be required to apply in person after the first time.
  • When entering the Schengen area, border control authorities can double-check the travelers’ identity using the VIS system.

All Schengen visa applicants are required to submit their biometric data when applying for a Schengen visa. Schengen visa application cannot be accepted in case applicant refuses to submit their biometric data and is not subject to any exception according to EU regulation.

The following categories of applicants are exempt from providing the fingerprints:

  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Those for whom fingerprint recording is physically impossible
  • Head of a state or government, members of a national government, including their spouse and members of their delegation, when officially invited by the governments of one of the member states or by an international organization
  • Applicants that have already provided fingerprints for Schengen visa application(s) in the last 59 months

Personal attendance is mandatory, unless fingerprints have already been collected by any German Mission or any other Schengen state's Mission.

In some cases applicants may be asked by the Mission to acquire fingerprints once again later during the visa application process. Even if applicants have already provided fingerprints for Schengen visa application(s) in the last 59 months, the Mission can always request to acquire the fingerprints again; this is only at the Mission’s discretion and VisaMetric has no responsibility in this.

To apply for a national visa, the personal presence of applicants is required, since on the day of submission of documents, there is a mandatory procedure for taking fingerprints.

The following categories of citizens are exempt from providing fingerprints:

  • children under 12 years old
  • persons whose fingerprints are physically impossible to acquire

Please note that the biometric data provided earlier for obtaining Schengen visas cannot be used to obtain a national visa.

In certain cases, the Diplomatic Mission has the right to request a resubmission of fingerprints. This procedure is solely within the competence of the Diplomatic Mission and VisaMetric is not responsible for this.