Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in Egypt
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Visa Information System (VIS) - fingerprints & digital photograph

The Visa Information System (VIS), started operating on 11 October 2011, is a system for the exchange of visa data between Schengen States.

The main objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa application procedures, to facilitate checks at external borders and to enhance security.

The VIS facilitates the exchange of data between Schengen States on visa applications in order to ease procedures, prevent “visa shopping” and assist in the fight against fraud.

The VIS contains biographic and biometric data of persons applying for a short term Schengen visa.

Applicants need to appear in person for the collection of the biometric data: ten fingerprints and a photograph are collected from persons applying for a visa. However, for subsequent applications within 5 years, fingerprints can be re-used from the VIS file unless there is reasonable doubt regarding the identity of the applicant.

When the visa holder arrives at the external border, the border authorities have access to the VIS to verify his or her identity and the authenticity of the visa.

Certain categories of applicants are exempt from the requirement to give fingerprints, including:

  • Children under the age of 12;
  • Persons for whom fingerprinting is physically impossible;
  • Heads of State and members of national governments, and members of their official delegations when invited for an official purpose.

(for more details)

  Short term visa Long term visa
10-digit finger scans Compulsory for applicants from the age of 12 (*) Not required
Digital photograph taken at the Embassy Compulsory for all applicants (*) Compulsory for all applicants

(*) See exemptions above