The EU has made changes to its Visa Information System (VIS) in order to improve the procedure for issuing Schengen visas, Report informs referring to the EU Council website.
“The Council today adopted a regulation amending the Visa Information System. The main aims of the amending regulation are to further strengthen the security of the short-stay visa procedure, include long-stay visas and residence permits in the VIS database, ensure interoperability between the VIS and other relevant EU systems and databases,” reads the statement of the EU Council.
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.
The legal act now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament and signed before being published in the EU Official Journal.