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Biometric requirement for Schengen visas comes into force

Schengen visa applicants living in the UK have begun enrolling biometric details when applying for a visa, as part of the new EU-mandated regulation since 20 November 2015. 

Biometric data, comprising fingerprints and facial photo, must be submitted with visa applications at any of visa processing agent VFS Global’s four visa application centres in the UK, located in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

The regulation was introduced by the Schengen member states on 11 October 2011, and is being implemented globally in a phased manner.

The biometric enrolment applies only to new applications from 20 November, as existing Schengen visas are still valid until their individual expiry dates. As previously, people living in the UK requiring a Schengen visa can visit a VFS Global Schengen visa application centre to submit applications.

In the UK, biometric enrolment applies only to those nationalities that need a visa to travel to the Schengen countries. Once the biometric data is enrolled it will remain valid for 59 months.  Children under the age of twelve will be exempted from biometric enrolment.

Chris Dix, COO – Europe and Americas, VFS Global, said, “Applicants living in the UK applying for Schengen visas have the choice of four centres in London, Manchester Cardiff and Edinburgh, where they can make an appointment to register their biometric details.”

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