New EU rules will allow better checks of visa applicants

The VIS will include information also on long-stay visas and residence permits

Photo: EU Eduardo Cabrita.

The Council adopted on Thursday a regulation amending the Visa Information System (VIS), in response to changing migration and security challenges. The VIS is a tool used by authorities of the Member States to register and check persons applying for a short-stay visa to enter the Schengen area.

The legal act have to be approved by the European Parliament and signed before publishing in the EU Official Journal.

The amendments have as objective to further strengthen the security of the short-stay visa procedure and include long-stay visas and residence permits in the VIS database. They also aim to ensure interoperability between the VIS and other relevant EU systems and databases.

Eduardo Cabrita, Minister for Home Affairs of Portugal, commented that in recent years the EU has consistently worked to improve controls of those entering the Schengen area, through the adoption of the travel authorisation system (ETIAS), the entry/exit system and the interoperability of databases.

The update to the VIS is the next step in this direction, he said adding that the new rules will allow for better checks of visa applicants to identify those who may pose a security threat or risk abusing our migration rules.

Under the new rules, the VIS will not only include information on short-stay visas as before, but also cover long-stay visas and residence permits, as these documents allow for free movement within the Schengen area. In addition, a scan of the biographical data page of the travel document will be included in the VIS.

Before issuing a visa or residence permit, the new rules will allow for enhanced background checks on the applicant in relevant security and migration databases. The VIS would automatically launch a query of these databases and any hits will be manually verified and followed up by the competent authority.

Similar articles