Biometrics requirement to be rolled out in several Asian countries

10 Sep 15

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The 26 countries of the Schengen zone will roll out their common visa application system at embassies and consulates in several East and South Asian locations beginning Oct. 12 and Nov. 2, depending on the country.

What does the change mean? Applicants seeking visas to Schengen countries must attend a biometrics appointment at their relevant European consulate. The requirement goes into effect beginning Oct. 12 for applicants in China, Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea and Taiwan, and beginning Nov. 2 for applicants in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

  • Implementation time frame: Oct 12 and Nov. 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas to Schengen member countries.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for Schengen visas in the designated locations.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times are not directly affected.
  • Business impact: Initial applicants will be required to apply in person to provide fingerprint scans and digital photos.
  • Next steps: Applicants with upcoming travel plans should be prepared for the extra step of appearing at a consulate in person to submit biometrics.

Applicants with upcoming travel plans should be prepared for the extra step of appearing at a consulate in person to submit biometrics.

Background: The Visa Information System, which unifies the application process for Schengen countries, was introduced in 2011 and has been rolled out region by region.

BAL Analysis: Employees in the designated Asian countries applying for visas to Schengen countries should be aware of the additional in-person appointment. Biometrics will be valid for five years and must be resubmitted thereafter.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact china@balglobal.com.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.