The Visa Information System (VIS) is a common visa information system of all Member States of the Schengen area, which began to operate on 11 October 2011. The purpose of the VIS is to facilitate faster, more transparent and more secure visa application procedure and at the same time to prevent identify theft and data misuse.
Legal framework of the VIS:
Regulation (EC) 767/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 concerning the Visa Information System ('VIS') and the exchange of data between Member States on short-stay visas (VIS Regulation),
Council Decision 2008/633/JHA of 23 June 2008 concerning access for consultation of the Visa Information System (VIS) by designated authorities of Member States and by Europol for the purposes of the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and of other serious criminal offences,
The VIS enables the Schengen States to exchange visa data. It consists of a central IT system and of a communication infrastructure that links this central system to national systems. VIS connects consulates in non-EU countries and all external border crossing points of Schengen States. It processes data of the applicants and decisions relating to applications for short-stay visas to visit, or to transit through, the Schengen Area. The system can perform biometric matching, primarily of fingerprints, for identification and verification purposes.
The following categories of personal data are processed in the VIS:
alphanumeric data on the applicant and on the visas requested, issued, refused, annulled, revoked or extended,
links to other applications.
In the procedure for obtaining a visa in order to enter any of the Schengen Member States, applicants must when submitting the application also submit photographs and fingerprints of all 10 fingers. The data is stored in the VIS for five years on a joint server of Member States in Strasbourg. Fingerprints are not required from children under the age of 12 and from persons who physically cannot provide finger scans (e.g. due to injury).
The following competent authorities may access the VIS:
the authorities responsible for issuing visas,
the authorities responsible for carrying out checks at external borders and within the national territories of the Member States (for the purposes of verifying the identity of the person, the authenticity of the visa or whether the person meets the requirements for entering, staying in or residing within the national territories),
asylum authorities (for the purpose of determining the EU State responsible for the examination of an asylum application),
in specific cases, national law enforcement authorities and Europol (for the purposes of preventing, detecting and investigating terrorist and criminal offences).
More on a common EU visa policy and the VIS can be found on the website of the European Commission:
Supervision of the processing of personal data in the VIS:
National Data Protection Authorities (in Slovenia this authority is Information Commissioner) monitor the lawfulness of the processing of personal data by the Member State concerned and its transfer to and from the VIS.
At the same time the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) supervises the activities of the Management Authority regarding the processing of personal data in the VIS.
In order to ensure a consistent level of protection of personal data, national Data Protection Authorities and the EDPS meet regularly within the VIS Supervision Coordination Group.
The rights of individuals:
Each individual has the following rights regarding the processing of their personal data in the VIS:
the right to access to data relating to them in the VIS,
the right to request that inaccurate data relating to them in the VIS be corrected,
the right to request that unlawfully stored data relating to them in the VIS be deleted.
Request form for access, correction or deletion of personal data in the VIS in Slovenia: LINK
Request form for access, correction or deletion of personal data in the VIS in Slovenia is filed in writing or orally for the record, with the:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Telephone: +386 1 478 2305
Fax: +386 1 478 2340
The Information Comissioner is the competent authority in Slovenia for deciding on the appeal of an individual when the request to consult personal data that relate to him was refused or the applicant was refused the answer to his application.
The Administrative Court of Slovenia has the jurisdiction in deciding on the appeal of an individual when the request to correct or delete personal data that relate to him in the VIS was refused.