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Biometrics Process For Schengen Visa Applications In India

Last Updated : 21-Dec-2023

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30-Second Summary

Indians applying for a Schengen visa need to provide their biometrics, including fingerprints and a photo of themselves.

    The visa application involves document gathering, scheduling an appointment, attending an interview, and completing the biometric process.

    Unique identification, enhanced security, reduced fraud, streamlined processes, and prevention of identity theft are key reasons for the importance of biometric data.

    Biometric data is stored in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 59 months, streamlining subsequent visa applications and providing secure identity confirmation at Schengen Area borders.

Embarking on a journey to explore captivating destinations within the Schengen Area is an exciting adventure, but understanding the details of the visa application process is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the role of biometrics in securing and streamlining travel for Indian passport holders within the Schengen Zone.

What is Biometrics in Schengen Visa Applications

Biometrics for Schengen visa applications includes visiting the application centre and providing all your fingerprints and a photograph, which are crucial for identification. Biometrics' significance extends to border control and immigration, where countries use fingerprints and facial features to ensure secure and accurate entry and exit at crossings and checkpoints. 

When applying for a Schengen visa, every adult must provide their biometric data; this is a mandatory and non-negotiable step. Not meeting this requirement makes the Schengen visa application invalid, highlighting the need to strictly follow EU regulations with no exceptions.

Types of Biometric Data

The collection of biometrics for schengen visas mainly involves fingerprints and digital photos. Fingerprint scans are unique to each person and serve as a distinct identifier, while digital photographs capture facial features, enhancing the overall biometric profile. This thorough collection process ensures the development of a strong identification profile.

Who Needs to Provide Biometrics?

Almost all applicants seeking a Schengen visa need to submit biometric data. This mandatory measure is vital to uphold the security and integrity of the visa application process, ensuring accurate identification for every person entering the Schengen Area.

Who does not need to provide biometric information?

The following do not need to submit biometric data for their schengen visa application:

    Biometric data is not required from children under 12;

    Individuals physically unable to provide their fingerprint scan;

    Heads of state, government members, and delegation members that are officially invited by Schengen governments;

    Those who have submitted fingerprints for the Schengen Visa application within the last 59 months are exempt from providing them again. 

Parental consent is required for applicants aged 12 to 17, and a parent or legal guardian should be present during fingerprint collection.

What is the Biometrics Process?

Your visa application will not proceed without biometric information. Here's an overview of the process:

    After all the paperwork is together, you will schedule a visa appointment for Schengen

    On the given date, you will attend your appointment to submit your visa application. 

    You must attend a visa interview and complete your biometric process at the visa application centre. 

    During the process, the personnel at the embassy or visa application centre will take your biometrics, including capturing fingerprints and facial scans. They use a digital fingerprint scanner to collect images of all 10 fingers and a digital photo.

    Your digital photograph must meet the requirements and display your full face without sunglasses, tinted spectacles, or a head covering unless worn for religious or ethical reasons.

    Temporary injuries on fingers should be healed before the biometric scan.

    Fingertips should be free from temporary body decoration like mehndi to ensure the scanner works effectively.

    Afterwards, you will submit the Schengen visa application, pay the visa fee for Schengen and await the visa processing time.

Why is Biometric Data Important? 

Biometrics for schengen visas is important for several reasons, primarily involving enhanced security and streamlined identification processes. Here are key reasons why biometric data holds significance:

    Unique Identification: Biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial features, is unique to each individual. 

    Enhanced Security: Using biometric data adds an extra layer of security to various applications.

    Reduced Fraud: Biometric data is challenging to replicate or forge, making it a robust tool in combating fraud. 

    Streamlined Processes: Incorporating biometric data streamlines various processes, leading to more efficient services. 

    Prevention of Identity Theft: By relying on unique biological traits, biometric data minimises identity theft risk. 

What happens with my biometric data for the Schengen visa?

Your biometric data will be kept in the VIS database for 59 months (5 years). This means you won't have to provide biometrics in person for subsequent visa applications during this period. When you enter the Schengen Area, border control can confirm your identity using the VIS system, available to law enforcement in the region.

What is Visa Information System (VIS)?

The Visa Information System (VIS) is a technology tool to better manage borders in the EU. It lets Schengen States share visa data using a central IT system and a communication network connecting it to national systems. VIS links consulates in non-EU countries with external border crossings in all Schengen States. It assesses applications for short-term visas to enter or transit through the Schengen Area, using biometric matching, mainly fingerprints, for identification and verification.

Proactive Steps to Ready Yourself for Biometric Data Collection

Preparing for biometric data collection is essential to ensure a smooth and successful process. 

    Verify Required Documents: Ensure you have all the necessary documents, such as a valid ID, passport, or any other required documentation. Check the specific requirements of the organisation collecting the biometric data.

    Follow Instructions: Pay close attention to any instructions provided by the organisation conducting the biometric data collection. Adhering to these instructions will help ensure a smooth process.

    Avoid Accessories: Remove accessories such as hats, sunglasses, or anything obstructing facial features. Follow any guidelines provided regarding clothing and accessories.

    Maintain Personal Hygiene: Keep your hands and face clean on the day of the biometric data collection. Clean hands and faces make capturing accurate data easier for the equipment.

    Arrive on Time: Arriving on time for your appointment will reduce stress and help maintain an organised process for you and the personnel conducting the biometric data collection.

Remember, biometric data collection aims to enhance security and identity verification. By following these tips, you can contribute to a smooth and efficient process while ensuring the accuracy of your biometric data.

In Summary 

Embarking on your Schengen visa journey involves a crucial step – biometric data collection. I hope this blog helps you understand its significance, comply with requirements, and follow proactive steps to ensure a seamless process. 

Government Sources: 

Atlys guarantees accurate and dependable information for your Schengen adventure. We keep our content precise and up-to-date by directly sourcing the latest information from government channels. Please note that updates can be made unexpectedly, so please double-check important information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Biometrics are usually collected at designated locations, such as embassies or visa application centers (VACs). These facilities are set up to handle the biometric data collection process.

Verified Author:

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