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It is mandatory to fill your visa application form on Visa On Web prior to booking an appointment on TLScontact website. For more information about the visa submission process, click here.

Frequently asked questions

In this page, you could find answers of some frequently asked questions regarding general Schengen visa rules, application process and detail requirement of documents. Please click on the questions you want to ask or type “Ctrl+F” and type in the key word of your questions, you will be suggested with relevant answers.

If you still have other questions you can Contact us.

1. Schengen visa information

1.1. Schengen Area

1.2. European Union

1.3. Visa obligation

1.4. Schengen, national visa and airport transit visa differences

1.5. How to read the visa sticker

1.6. Jurisdiction 

1.7. Schengen Information System and your personal data

2. Application procedure

2.1. Place of application submission

2.2. Time of application submission

2.3. How to book an appointment on TLScontact Website?

2.4. Application submission through a representative

2.5. Visa section’s request of additional documents or information

2.6. Special requirements for minor applicants

2.7. Passport collection

2.8. Processing time

2.9. Submission of applications at the Embassy’s visa section

2.10. Postal application submission

3. Visa document requirement

3.1. Visa application form

3.2. Passport

3.3. Photo

3.4. Travel health insurance

3.5. Bank statement

3.6. Invitation letter

3.7. Declaration of commitment (3 BIS)

4. Biometric data capture

4.1. Personal biometric data capture in the Visa Application Center

4.2. Your fingerprint scans have already been provided for a previous Schengen visa

4.3. Biometric data capture exemptions

4.4. Copy of fingerprint scan from a previous UK/US/national visa

 

1. Schengen visa information

1.1. Schengen Area

The Schengen Area is composed of 26 countries.

  • At present, 22 European Union Member States enforce the Schengen Convention (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden).
  • Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland integrally enforce the Schengen Convention, but are not members of the European Union.

The six other European Union Member States still outside the Schengen Area are the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.

The EU Member State, Cyprus, is not yet a fully-fledged member of the Schengen Area. Border controls between Cyprus and the current members of the Schengen Area are to be maintained until the EU Council decides that the conditions for abolishing internal border controls have been met. However, Cyprus considers the Schengen visa, as well as residence permits from other EU Member States, as equivalent to its national visa for the purpose of a transit that does not exceed 5 days.

The Principalities of Monaco, Andorra, San Marino and Holy See (Vatican City State) allow entry to their territories without any formality to Schengen visa holders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1.2. European Union

European Union

The following is the list of countries that are currently members of the European Union:

·         Austria ·         Estonia ·         Italy ·         Portugal
·         Belgium ·         Finland ·         Latvia ·         Romania
·         Bulgaria ·         France ·         Lithuania ·         Slovakia
·         Croatia ·         Germany ·         Luxembourg ·         Slovenia
·         Cyprus ·         Greece ·         Malta ·         Spain
·         Czech Republic ·         Hungary ·         Netherlands ·         Sweden
·         Denmark ·         Ireland ·         Poland ·         United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1.3. Visa obligation

Russian passport holders

All Russian nationals must have a valid visa to enter the Schengen Area, regardless of the duration of their stay and of the travel document they have, except if they have a valid residence permit enabling them to stay in the Schengen Area.

Nationals of other countries

Citizens of some countries are exempt from the requirement to hold a valid visa to enter the Schengen Area for a short stay or transit, for details please check here.

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1.4. Schengen, national visa and airport transit visa differences

Schengen visa (short stay)

For citizens of some countries, a Schengen visa (Type C) issued by one of the member countries is required when staying in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days.

With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen Area. Short stay visa allows the traveller, assuming all other conditions are met, to enter the territories of any Schengen country to pay a single continuous visit or multiple visits, the duration of which does not exceed 90 days in any 180 days period.

A short stay (Schengen) visa can be issued for either single entry or multiple entries into the Schengen zone.

  • Single entry visas allow the visa holder to enter and stay in the Schengen area continuously for the length of the visa duration, to a maximum of 90 days (e.g.: from July 1st to September 28th).
  • Multiple entry visas allow several entries and stays in the Schengen Area, of which the total duration cannot exceed 90 days in any 180 days period. The stay can be continuous or divided into several periods within the length of your visa’s validity. A Schengen circulation visa is a special type of multi-entry visa that is generally valid from 1 to 5 years, decided by the Embassy or Consulate General.

National visa (long stay)

If you wish to stay longer than 90 days you will need a national long stay visa (Type D) or a residence permit.

Any stay longer than 90 days falls under national jurisdiction and is not part of the Schengen Agreement.

Airport transit visa

An airport transit visa is required depending upon the country of your citizenship and whether you have residence permits or visas of certain countries. The visa allows the travelers transiting the Schengen territory and who will not leave the transit area of the airport.

Airport transit visa does not apply to Russian citizens. However, if the transit involves a change of airport, a regular transit visa is required.

Please consult the European Union’s website of the Migration and Home Affairs to know if your country of citizenship requires an airport transit visa in order to transit through an airport in Belgium.

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1.5. How to read the visa sticker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DURATION OF STAY………DAYS indicates the number of days you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included.

The period of time between “FROM …UNTIL” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “DURATION OF STAY” field. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “DURATION OF STAY …DAYS” field.

No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “UNTIL” field.”

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1.6. Jurisdiction

Applications Processed By TLScontact Russia

By agreement with the Embassy of Belgium, people residing permanently in Russia, applying for the visa types listed below should submit the documents at TLScontact Centre.

Schengen visa for a short-stay of up to 90 days:

  • Tourist Visa
  • Visitor Visa
  • Business Visa
  • Cultural Visa
  • Sport Visa
  • Medical Treatment Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Transit Visa
  • European Directive 2004/38/EC

National visa for a long stay of more than 90 days:

  • Visa «Au pair» 
  • Work visa issuance in the base of work permit (type B) or professional card
  • Visa for Family Reunification to join Spouse (For people who married to a Belgian citizen who resides in Belgium. (Art. 40 Ter)
  • Visa for Family Reunification to join Parents (For people whose parents are Belgian citizen who resides in Belgium. (Art. 40 Ter)
  • Visa for Family Reunification (For people whose relative is a non-citizen of a European Member state nor of the EEA (Art. 10 & 10bis)
  • Re-entry visa. Long stay. (Re-entry visa for Belgium residents who has a temporary residence permit)
  • Study or study related stay
  • Cohabitation Visa (Schengen Short Stay Visa)
  • Visa for marriage (Schengen Short Stay Visa)

All non-Russian citizens living in Russia have to be legal residents of the Russian Federation and need to present the relevant documents (copy of residence permit, long-term visa or FMS registration). These documents need to be valid for at least 3 months beyond the planned return from the Schengen area or a document is to be submitted that the holder has applied for the renewal of proof of legal residence.

Note: The TLScontact procedure is not compulsory. Applicants can apply at the Embassy of Belgium to submit their applications with prior appointment. Please contact the Call Centre  to make an appointment.

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1.7. Schengen Information System and your personal data

What is the Schengen Information System?

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a highly efficient large-scale information system that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen States. The SIS enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and objects. An SIS alert not only contains information about a particular person or object but also clear instructions on what to do when the person or object has been found. Specialized national SIRENE Bureaux serve as single points of contact for any supplementary information exchange and coordination of activities related to SIS alerts.

Further information on SIS is available here.

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2. Application procedure

2.1. Place of application submission

Visa applications for Belgium are received by TLScontact, see Document and Visa Types.

You are required to submit your visa application at the TLScontact Application Centre or at the Embassy nearby where you are currently living.

  • If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate of this country.
  • If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country of your longest stay.
  • If the visits in different Schengen countries are of equal length, the first destination shall be the determining factor.

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2.2. Time of application submission

You may only submit your visa application within the 90 days period prior to the intended date of arrival in the Schengen Area.

It is advisable to lodge an application at least 21 calendar days before the intended visit.

However, it is also recommended that you lodge your visa application taking into account national holidays of the country of destination and Russia. Please note that during holidays the operation of certain Consular services may be reduced.

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2.3. How to book an appointment on TLScontact Website?

You can find more detail information on how to take an appointment on TLScontact website here.

The Visa Application Centre can also support applicants who wish assistance concerning the whole visa appointment process. Website registration, form filling, appointment booking are covered to make your visa journey easier.

For more information, please Contact Us or ask our representatives at the Reception for assistance, when you arrive at the Visa Application Centre.

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2.4. Application submission through a representative

Personal appearance is mandatory for all visa applicants unless you are exempted from biometric data capturing.

If you are exempted from biometric data capture, a representative can apply on your behalf.

Please note the following points if you are applying through a representative:

  • Applicant’s passport must be signed by the applicant himself. In this regard, please also pay attention to the special regulations concerning applicants who are underage.
  • Representatives are only allowed to sign in place of the applicant during their appointment in the Visa Application Centre on the following documents:
    1. Consent forms
    2. Application checklist. The Schengen application form must be signed by the applicant himself.

Applicant’s picture must fully comply with the strict regulations, for more information see here.

In the eventuality that you need to provide a recent compliant photograph to complete your application, a self-service photo booth is at your disposal inside the Visa Application Centre. For more information, please click here.

Express Courier Return can be requested during the appointment in the Visa Application Centre in order to receive the passport directly to a convenient chosen address once it is back from the Belgian Consulate Authority.

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2.5. Visa section’s request of additional documents or information

The Consulate may request you to provide additional documents or to attend an interview according to your personal situation, even after you have submitted your application at TLScontact.

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2.6. Special requirements for minor applicants

About self-presence

If the minor needs to enrol his/her biometric data during the application, he/she has to come in person, see “Personal biometric data capture in the Visa Application Centre

Please note that minors are not allowed to submit applications by themselves, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

In the eventuality that the representative is not the parent or the legal guardian of the minor, the representative must present an authorization letter signed by one of the parents or the legal guardian.

 About signature on minor applicant’s passport

For passports of underage applicants the following rules apply: for applicants under 14 years old the passport does not need to be signed, for applicants 14 years old and above the passport has to be only signed by the minor.

It is not allowed for the parents or guardians to sign the underage applicant’s passport. If the parents or legal guardians sign the applicant’s passport, this passport cannot be used anymore to apply for a Schengen visa to Belgium.

 About traveling without parents or legal guardian

Minors traveling independently or in a group are required to have a notarized travel authorization signed by either both parents or a legal guardian.

If a child is only accompanied by one parent: an authorization signed in front of a notary public by the parent who is not travelling, is required (original and copy).

This document must be translated into one of the official languages of Belgium (French, Dutch, German) and certified by an apostille.

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2.7. Passport collection

Passports can be collected in TLScontact Visa Application Centres during the opening hours to the public.

Once your passport is back from the Embassy of Belgium you will be notified online on your personal account page and by SMS.

There are three ways to get the passport back:

1. Express Courier Return

You may have your passport returned to you by express delivery service. It will be sent directly to your convenient chosen address. Please click here to check the service availability.

2.  Passport self-pick up

Please provide the following documents if you would like to retrieve the passport by yourself:

  • visa application checklist
  • the original identity card
  • a copy of your identity card

3. Passport pick-up by a representative

A representative may retrieve your passport on your behalf. The representative must provide:

  • your application checklist
  • a copy of your ID card
  • the original and a copy of your representative’s ID card
  • an authorization letter signed by the applicant or proof of relationship (close relatives do not provide authorization letter)

Please kindly note that passports which have been returned by the Belgian Consular Authority to TLScontact and have not been collected from TLScontact within a period of 6 months from the moment of application submission will be returned to the Belgian Consular Authority.

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2.8. Processing time

Schengen visa for a short-stay of up to 90 days:

Provided your application is correct and complete, the average processing time for short-stay individual applications will take 15 (fifteen) days from the submission of your application. However, it is advisable to apply 3 (three) weeks before the departure date to Belgium.

If the Embassy needs to investigate an application further the processing time can be longer: in case your visa application was sent to Immigration Office (30 days) or when additional documents are required (60 days).

It is also recommended that you lodge your visa application taking into account national holidays of the country of destination and Russia. Please note that during holidays the operation of certain Consular services may be reduced.

National visa for a long stay of more than 90 days:

For a long-term visa (family reunification, study, work permit, professional card, etc.), the dates may vary depending on the type of visa:

  • a visa is issued on the basis of an invitation to work or a professional card within 5 working days if the documents were provided in full;
  • for all other visa types  the processing time may be longer, since most of such applications are sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Immigration Office) for a final decision.

If your documents were sent to the Immigration Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, you can track the status of the request on the official website http://dofi.ibz.be. Please visit the section “consultation visa” and enter the number of the dossier provided to you at the Embassy.

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2.9. Submission of applications at the Embassy’s visa section

 You can submit your visa application directly at the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow.

In order to begin your visa application procedure, please create an account on Visa On Web and complete the electronic application form. Next, please Register on the TLScontact Russia website, fill the data in and submit the information.

You need to book an appointment by calling TLScontact Call-Centre and select a convenient time for you to submit your documents directly at the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow.

Please print your appointment confirmation from your personalized page or alternatively from the email sent to you confirming your appointment. You will be required to present this confirmation to enter the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow.

Please arrive on time at the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow with your appointment confirmation and all the requested documents to submit your visa application.

Please note that if you do not come to your appointment, all your personal information will be deleted and you will have to register again.

Please note that the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow do not accept cash payment at the counters.

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2.10. Postal application submission

If you have successfully provided your biometric data (10 fingerprint scan) for a Schengen visa application to a Schengen country within the previous 59 months, you can submit your complete application documents by post to the Visa Application Centre.

Please click here to check the service availability.

If you have not provided your biometric data during a previous visa application process, we kindly advise you to submit your application personally in the Visa Application Centre.

For more information on the postal application submission process, please kindly visit the following link.

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3. Visa document requirement

3.1. Visa application form

It is mandatory to fill your visa application form on Visa On Web prior to booking an appointment on TLScontact website.

The Schengen visa application form will be provided to you during the registration process and should be filled online.

Any person appearing in your travel document must complete a separate application form. The visa application form for a child under 18 must be signed by a parent or guardian.

If you need support with the form or don’t have time to fill it, we have the Form Filling Assistance available in some Visa Acceptance Centre, our experienced visa application staff will support you.

Please click here to check the service availability.

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3.2. Passport

Before applying for a visa you must make sure that your passport is valid.

  1. Check the expiration date on your passport.
    • For a short stay visa (less than 90 days), the expiration date must be no earlier than 90 days after the date of your return from the Schengen area.
  2. Make sure your passport has two or more completely blank and unmarked visa pages.
  3. Make sure your passport has not been altered.
    • Check if the original laminated film (the transparent safety film that covers the passport photo) has been tampered with. If this is the case, you must ask a passport-issuing authority to re-tamper proof your passport.
    • Make sure no pages or surfaces have been laminated (as this will invalidate your passport).
    • Check for scratching or alteration.
  4. If your passport was issued over 10 years ago, even if it is still valid at the time you submit your visa application, you must apply for a new passport from the authorities or the Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin, before being able to apply for a visa.

It is advised that you do not apply for a visa on a passport issued for multiple persons (e.g. parent and children together).

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3.3. Photo

Please submit two passport photos, which should fulfill the following criteria:

1. Colour photo on a white background.
2. Format 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm.
3. Taken from the front; without obstruction
4. Recent (less than 6 months old).
5. With the mouth closed.

In the eventuality that you need to provide a recent compliant photograph to complete your application, a self-service photo booth is at your disposal inside the Visa Application Centre. For more information, please click here.

The table below shows examples of non-compliant photos “,” and the correct equivalent “”, according to Schengen requirements

The examples above come from IACO (International Civil Aviation Organization) recommendations regarding machine readable travel documents (document IACO 9303).

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3.4. Travel health insurance

Due to a regulation of the European Union (Decision 2004/17/CE of December 22nd 2003), there is a requirement to hold travel insurance, which is a compulsory document.

The travel insurance should be:

  • Valid for Schengen area if you apply for short stay visa (only the copy)
  • Your travel insurance must be valid with a minimum coverage of € 30,000 in order to face any expenses that may arise in connection with your repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention, or emergency hospital treatment. The travel insurance should fully cover the period of your stay in the Schengen Area.

TLScontact Visa Application Centre is offering applicants the ability to purchase travel health insurance, compliant with Schengen requirement. For more information, please click here.

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3.5. Bank statement

Bank statements are supporting documents for a visa application.

Bank statements general requirements:

  • The bank statement should be provided by a bank.
  • Statements from all types of banks for all accounts are accepted.
  • Bank statements should be provided in A4 format.
  • The bank statement requires a stamp from the bank.
  • The bank statement should cover the full account history for the last 3 months or confirm the balance of the account to meet the minimum requirements of the consulate.
  • The applicant can provide extra documents to prove additional financial resources, for instance stock or fund accounts.
  • Please note: a bank statement is not the original bank certificate of deposit. Bank statements must show the exact dates for depositing and withdrawing money.
  • The name of the applicant must clearly appear on the bank statement. The name of the applicant should be printed by the bank — if it is handwritten by the applicant, it does not meet the general requirements. Students who want to provide bank statements from the person they are financially dependent on should make sure that the name of the account owner is printed on the document.
  • For a short stay in Belgium, each person must have at least €  95 for every day of stay at his/her disposal in case of stay at the hotel and at least € 45  per day in case of accommodation with an individual.

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3.6. Invitation letter

The letter of invitation is issued by the person inviting you to Belgium. If you are expected in the context of a professional or commercial relationship, an event of a political, scientific, cultural, academic or sporting nature, the letter of invitation is drawn up by a person authorized to commit the institution, the association or the company that invites you.

Invitation letter should be provided in one of the three national languages (German, French or Dutch).

The following information should be mentioned:

  • Surname, first name, address and contact phone number (e-mail, if existing) of the inviting person (host)
  • Surname, first name, date of birth, sex, nationality and passport number of the invited person (guest)
  • The purpose, duration and conditions of the stay (e.g. full or partial payment of the cost of transport, accommodation, accommodation, per diem etc.);
  • Any information useful for the understanding the visa application (e.g. link between the inviting party and the invited party etc.).

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3.7. Declaration of commitment (3 BIS)

3.7. Declaration of commitment (3 BIS)

If the applicant has no or insufficient financial means, the declaration of commitment signed by a guarantor can be presented (Annex 3bis to the Royal Decree of 08/10/1981).

The declaration of commitment is valid proof of your financial means in case the Embassy or Immigration Office accept it.

This booklet contains all the information that a guarantor should read before signing a declaration of commitment. It also explains the procedure to be followed by the guarantor and by the person who is being financially supported.

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4. Biometric data capture

4.1. Personal biometric data capture in the Visa Application Center

All applicants have to provide their biometric information when applying for a visa. This includes a digital finger scan of 10 fingerprints and a photograph. The finger scan procedure uses an electronic scanner. In order to ensure acceptable finger scans, please make sure that your fingertips are free from any form of decoration or cuts.

Only applicants who are within the following categories will be exempted:

  • Children strictly under the age of 12;
  • Applicants who are physically unable to submit their fingerprints for scan (hand/finger/arm amputated). However, if it is possible to scan at least one fingertip, then applicants have to go through the biometric step. In the case of a temporary inability to provide the fingerprints (plaster, bandage, etc.), the applicant still has to come in person and have the most possible fingerprints scanned. As only a part of the fingerprints have been collected, the applicant will have to come in person to allow the fingerprints scan again the next time when applying for a visa;
  • Applicants who are applying for a new Schengen visa within 59 months from the moment of the last fingerprint data capture and have already submitted their biometric data during a past Schengen visa application. Applicants in this case will have to provide the visa sticker number and a photocopy of the previous visa. However, the local Consular Authority may request you to submit the biometric data again.

Further information on VIS is available on the website of the European Commission.

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4.2 Your fingerprint scans have already been provided for a previous Schengen visa

All Schengen visa applications - independent of the place of issue - are stored in the Visa Information System (VIS) database. Refused applications are stored as well in the VIS.

In the application form you are asked whether you have provided fingerprint scans during a previous visa application process. If you affirm this question, please always attach a copy of your previous Schengen visa sticker. The consular authority will copy your fingerprint scans for your follow-up application from the central VIS database.

If you have already provided the fingerprints for a previous Schengen visa, you can send directly your visa application by postal service and you will not have to come to the Visa Application Centre to apply. Please click here to check the service availability

However, if the copy of your fingerprint scans is technically not possible, you might be required by the Consular Authority to submit the biometric data again.

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4.3. Biometric data capture exemptions

There are 3 cases of exemption:

  • Children strictly under the age of 12;
  • Applicants who are physically unable to submit their fingerprints for scan (hand/finger/arm amputated). However, if it is possible to scan at least one fingertip, then applicants have to go through the biometric step. In the case of a temporary inability to provide the fingerprints (plaster, bandage, etc.), the applicant still has to come in person and have the most possible fingerprints scanned. As only a part of the fingerprints have been collected, the applicant will have to come in person to allow the fingerprints scan again the next time when applying for a visa;
  • Applicants who are applying for a new Schengen visa within 59 months from the moment of the last fingerprint data capture and have already submitted their biometric data during a past Schengen visa application. Applicants in this case will have to provide the visa sticker number and a photocopy of the previous visa. However, the local Consular Authority may request you to submit the biometric data again.

Further information on VIS is available on the website of the European Commission.

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4.4 Copy of fingerprint scan from a previous UK/US/national visa

VIS is a system for the exchange of visa-data between Schengen countries. If fingerprints have been previously provided for a visa application to the US or UK, the fingerprints cannot be used for the Schengen-Visa application. Fingerprints that have been provided for a national visa can also not be transferred because of different databases.

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