Visa information system (VIS)

02 June 2021

The purpose of the Visa Information System (VIS) is to improve the implementation of the common visa policy, consular cooperation and consultations of central visa authorities by facilitating the exchange of information between the Member States of the European Union.

More than 1,5 million
of visas requests in average by month

and more than 3.5 million first-line checks were processed through the VIS core system in the first 9 months of 2019.

The Visa Information System (VIS) is used for the review of short-stay visa applications and decisions to deny, extend, cancel, or revoke visas, as well as visa verifications and verifications and identifications of applicants and visa holders in order:

  • to facilitate the visa application procedure;
  • to prevent multiple visa application;
  • to facilitate the fight against fraud;
  • to facilitate checks at external border crossing points and within the territory of the Member States;
  • to assist in the identification of any person who may not, or may no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to, stay or residence on the territory of the Member States;
  • to facilitate the application of the Dublin II regulation for the determination of the country of the European Union responsible of the check of an asilum request made by a citizen from a foreign country and for the check of the said request;
  • to contribute to the prevention of threats to the internal security of any of the Member States.

The informational system VIS is composed of:

  • the euLISA agency, a central system; the operational management is carried out by a management authority, financed by the European Union budget.
  • a communication infrastructure between the central VIS and the national interfaces.

Who is responsible for the file?

Criteria for inclusion in this file

Who can register?

Information contained in this file

How long is the information kept?

Who consults this file?

How are people informed?

How to exercise your rights?

For RMV2 processing, data subjects may exercise their rights at the diplomatic or consular representation, the prefecture or the State representation in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and the Wallis and Futuna Islands, where the visa application was submitted, or at the sub-directorate for visas of the Ministry of Immigration.

For France-Visas processing:

For visa applications lodged outside French territory, at the diplomatic or consular representation to which the application is submitted, the Immigration Department of the Ministry of the Interior or the Department of French Nationals Abroad and Consular Administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

In the case of visa applications submitted on French territory, to the central directorate of the border police and the prefecture.

The above-mentioned services, upon receiving requests to exercise the right of rectification, shall inform the applicants in writing and free of charge of any rectifications they have made.

In case of VISABIO processing:

Data subjects may exercise their rights with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Directorate of French Nationals Abroad and Consular Administration), the Ministry of Immigration (Directorate of Immigration) or the department where the visa application was submitted.

Control of the file

National Data Protection Authorities (DPA) shall monitor independently the lawfulness of the process implemented by the State member, including data transmitted from the VIS to the latter. An audit of data processing activities is carried out every four years minimum, which must comply to international norms in terms of audit.

The European Data Protection Supervisor is responsible for supervising the personal data processing activities carried out by the Management Authority, the dedicated European agency euLISA.

In order to ensure the coordination of the supervision of the Visa Information System, representatives of national data protection authorities (DPA) and the European Data Protection Supervisor usually meet twice a year in a VIS Supervision Coordination Group.

The national data protection authorities ('national DPAs') represented are those of the 28 Member States, with Ireland and the UK participating as observers. The national DPAs of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are also part of the group, as their countries also participate in the system.

For more information on the meetings of the VIS Coordination Group, please visit the European Data Protection Supervisor's website, the minutes of the meetings as well as the recently adopted documents.