From 14 September 2015 all applicants applying for a Schengen visa must submit biometric data - ten fingerprints and a photo. Biometric data will be stored in the Visa Information System (VIS), which is an IT system that allows the Schengen States to exchange visa data. The main purpose of the VIS is to facilitate the issuance of visas and the control at external borders and to improve safety.
In order to submit their biometric data, all applicants must come to Visa Application Centre of Finland (or mission) the first time they apply for a visa from 14 September 2015. In the following 59 months applicant can leave application without visiting the Visa Application Center.
Applicant can leave the application via accredited travel agency every time, but the first time in every 59 months applicant has to visit a VAC to be fingerprinted.
It is important to note, that if for some reason fingerprints are not found in VIS, applicant will have to visit VAC to be fingerprinted also in following 59 months.
Applicants can ask the fingerprints to be taken every time when applying for a visa.
Biometric data is not collected from children under the age of 12 or if it is physically impossible.
Visas applied before 14 September 2015 are valid through the period of validity without biometric data.