Do I need biometric data for Schengen visa?

What is biometric data?

The biometric data includes ten fingerprints and a photo. It is used on biometric passports and for Schengen visas.

How to apply to Schengen visa?

What biometric data do I need to provide when applying for a Schengen Visa?

Since 2011, the Schengen Area’s Visa Information System (VIS) has allowed the Schengen States to exchange visa data. Applicants who submit their first application for a Schengen Visa will have their biometric data recorded in person, including 10 fingerprints and a required passport-style photo. This is in addition to the information you submit about yourself, such as your name, place of residence, age, sex, as well as details of your trip, which are not biometric data. Some of this could be obtained from your biometric data passport.

What happens with my biometric data for Schengen visa?

Your biometric data will be stored in the VIS database and can be accessed for 59 months (5 years), which means you will not be required to submit your biometric data in person after the first time you apply for a visa. When you enter the Schengen Area, border control authorities can double-check your identity using the VIS system. It will be stored on a database and be available to law enforcement agencies in the Schengen Area.

Is anyone exempt from providing biometric data such as fingerprints? 

Children under 12 years of age, those who physically cannot give fingerprints, heads of a state or governments, members of a national government, including their spouse and members of their delegation, who are officially invited by Schengen governments, are exempt from providing this biometric data. As mentioned, applicants that have already provided fingerprints for Schengen Visa application(s) in the last 59 months (5 years) are also exempt from providing their data again.

Where do I provide my biometric data?

Personal attendance at your interview is mandatory unless fingerprints have already been collected by the consulate, embassy, or visa application center for a previous application within the past five years. However, they may still request you provide this data again.

Is biometric data submitted for other permits or visas valid?

Biometric data submitted in connection with a residence or work permit is not valid when applying for Schengen Visa - so you will need to submit this again if you have applied for one of these in the past.

How is my biometric data collected?

Your biometric data will be collected by staffers in a discreet, non-intrusive, and quick way. A digital camera will collect a facial image while a digital finger scanner is used to collect 10-digit finger and thumbprints.

When you pose for your Schengen Visa photos, you should have your normal haircut and should avoid wearing sunglasses, dark optical glasses, optical glasses that have frames covering your eyes and avoid flash reflection in your glasses. Only photographs featuring optical glasses with no reflections and the applicant’s eyes fully visible will be accepted.

If you have cut or damaged your fingertips, you should visit the visa application center when the injury has healed, or if you have a temporary decoration, such as mehndi, you should determine whether a scan will be possible.

Applicants under 12 years old, people incapable of giving consent or those physically unable to provide a fingerprint scan do not need to provide these biometrics.

If an applicant is between 12 and 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian will be asked to give consent to collect biometrics.

Why choose AXA Schengen Insurance?

In addition to providing your biometric data, you will need travel cover, and AXA’s Low Cost Travel Insurance only costs €0.99 ($1.11) per day of your trip and will meet your visa requirements, while the AXA Schengen Europe Travel Insurance offers extended coverage up to costs of €100,000.

Those seeking a multiple-entry visa can purchase the Multi Trip insurance from €298 per year, which again covers you for expenses up to €100,000.

Everything you need to know about Schengen visa 

What are the Schengen visa photo requirements ?
What is and how to get a no objection letter ?
What is and how to get a Schengen invitation letter ?
How do I prove means of subsistence when applying for Schengen visa ?
What is and how to get a travel insurance policy for a Schengen visa ?
Schengen visa form : how to fill in an application ?
What is proof of accommodation and how to I get it for a Schengen visa ?
What is a flight itinerary for a Schengen visa and how do I get one ?
How to I read a Schengen visa sticker and number ?

Frequently asked questions about biometric data for a Schengen Visa

Can a Schengen Visa be accepted without me providing biometric data?

Unless one of the reasons above applies to you - Schengen Visa applicants are required to submit their biometric data when applying for a Schengen Visa.

Will my biometric data be kept if my visa is refused - and how long will it be kept for?

Regardless of the outcome of your visa application your biometric data will be kept on file for five years.

Can I request my biometric data be removed from the VIS after my visit or an unsuccessful application?

You can only request that inaccurate information is corrected and unlawfully recorded data is deleted.