The European Parliament and the European Council agreed to reform the Visa Information System (VIS). The EU has been using the mechanism to register and check people who apply for short-term Schengen visa.
Press office of the European Council reported that on December 9.
"Under the proposed new rules, the VIS will not only include information on short-stay visas as before, but will also cover long-stay visas and residence permits, as these documents allow for free movement within the Schengen area. Registering these documents in a centralised database will help the authorities to verify their authenticity and validity. In addition, a scan of the biographical data page of the travel document will be included in the VIS. This will also facilitate the return of illegally staying third-country nationals whose data may be stored in the VIS: if their travel document is no longer available at the time of return, a copy of it may be recognised by third countries as proof of nationality", reads the press release on the website.
The new rules will let the EU boost preliminary check of the applicant in respective databases for security and migration, which include Schengen Information System (SIS), the Entry-Exit System (EES), European Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS), Eurodac, Europol data, ECRIS-TCN and relevant Interpol databases on travel documents.
Certain changes are aimed at combating children trafficking. Specifically, the age for fingerprinting children was reduced from 12 to six years old. At that, the fingerprints of those older than 75 years old are not included in the VIS. The current paper photo will be rplaced with the live image of the face with proper resolution and quality for the use during automatic comparison.
The Visa Information System has been in service since 2011, assisting border and migration authorities with checks of citizens of third countries, if they seek the short-term visa to travel across the Schengen area.