If you wish to request information about your data stored in the VIS system, please click here!


The common EU visa policy is an integral part of Schengen and one of the most important tools to address security risks and irregular migration challenges for the Schengen area. Over the past years, the EU has been developing large-scale IT systems for collecting, processing and sharing information relevant to external border management. The Visa Information System, which supports the implementation of the common EU visa policy, is one of these tools.

The Visa Information System (VIS) allows 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 and decisions relating to applications for short-stay visas to visit, or to transit through, the Schengen Area, thereby facilitating checks and the issuance of visas, fighting abuses, protecting travellers, helping with asylum applications and enhancing security. The system can perform biometric matching, primarily of fingerprints, for identification and verification purposes. 

Data is fed into the VIS by national authorities. The authorities with access to VIS must ensure that its use is limited to that which is necessary, appropriate and proportionate for carrying out their tasks. Furthermore, they must ensure that in using VIS, the visa applicants and holders are not discriminated against and that their human dignity and integrity are respected.

What kind of data is stored in the VIS database?

10 fingerprints and a digital photograph are collected from persons applying for a visa. These biometric data, along with data provided in the visa application form, are recorded in a secure central database.
10-digit finger scans are not required from children under the age of 12 or from people who physically cannot provide finger scans. Frequent travellers to the Schengen Area do not have to give new finger scans every time they apply for a new visa. Once finger scans are stored in VIS, they can be re-used for further visa applications over a 5-year period.

At the Schengen Area's external borders, the visa holder's finger scans may be compared against those held in the database. A mismatch does not mean that entry will automatically be refused - it will merely lead to further checks on the traveller’s identity.

In accordance with  Regulation (EC) No 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) data is stored in the VIS database if:

  • it is entered immediately upon application (Art.9)
  • stored once a visa is issued (Art.10);
  • the visa request examination process is discontinued (Art.11);
  • the visa was refused (Art.12);
  • the visa was revoked (Art.13);
  • the visa is extended (Art.14).

Data stored into the database concerns the identity of the authority examining the application, elements (like date, type of the visa) on the application process itself, the name of the applicant, the purpose of the travel, the length of the stay, a photography and a fingerprint.

Data is kept in the VIS system for up to 5 years. This retention period starts from the expiry date of the issued visa, the date a negative decision is taken or the date a decision to modify an issued visa is taken.

Which countries use VIS and who operates it?

As a Schengen instrument, VIS applies to all Schengen States (Denmark has decided to implement it). The EU Agency for large-scale IT systems, eu-LISA, is responsible for the operational management of VIS.

Who can access VIS?

Access to VIS data is limited to authorised staff in the performance of their tasks. They must ensure that the use of VIS data is limited to that which is necessary, appropriate and proportionate for carrying out their tasks.

Competent visa authorities may consult the VIS for the purpose of examining applications and decisions related thereto.

The authorities responsible for carrying out checks at external borders and within the national territories have access to search the VIS for the purpose 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 only have access to search the VIS for the purpose of determining the EU State responsible for the examination of an asylum application.

In specific cases, national authorities and Europol may request access to data entered into the VIS for the purposes of preventing, detecting and investigating terrorist and criminal offences. (see Council Decision 2008/633/JHA of 23 June 2008 for further information).

What are the data subject's rights?

Right of information

Visa applicants must be given appropriate information from the national authorities that handle their request for a visa. This information should cover the identity of the controller and its contact details, nature of the data that is collected, the purpose of the collection, the period of retention of the data, which information is compulsory for the visa application process and which one isn't, and who can be granted access to this data, the fact that the data may be transferred to a third country or an international organization. 

Right of access to, rectification, completion, erasure of personal data and restriction of processing

In accordance with EU and Hungarian law, each person has the right to:

  • access VIS-stored information related to the person and of the Member State which entered them in the VIS
  • request the correction of inaccurate or false data
  • request the removal of its unlawfully processed data
  • turn to the courts or another competent authority to request the correction or removal of inaccurate data or petition for compensatory damages

The Member State that receives the request shall examine and reply to it as soon as possible, and at the latest within one month of receipt of the request.

The request has to be lodged to the authority that carries/carried on the procedure. More information can be found at the https://konzinfo.mfa.gov.hu/en/embassies#hungarian-embassies-abroad  webpage.

Information can also be requested at the Hungarian Consular Service:

Consular Service

Address:       1027 Budapest, Nagy Imre tér 4.
Telephone:    +36 (1) 458-1000 Fax: +36 (1) 201-7323
E-mail:          taj.
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The request can also be lodged to the national central visa authority:

National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing

Address: H-1117 Budapest, Budafoki út 60,

Mailing address: 1903 Budapest, Pf. 314.

Telephone: +36 1 463 9100

Fax: +36 1 463 9169

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Member State shall take a decision not to provide information to the person concerned, in whole or in part, in accordance with national or Union law,, In such case the person concerned shall be informed in writing, without undue delay, of any refusal or restriction of access and of the reasons for the refusal or restriction (such information may be omitted in justified cases). The person concerned shall be informed of the possibility of lodging a complaint with a supervisory authority or of seeking a judicial remedy.

Any person has the right to bring an action or a complaint before the competent authorities or courts of the Member State which refused the right of access to, rectification, completion or erasure of data. The right to bring such an action or complaint shall also apply where requests for access to, rectification, completion or erasure were not responded to within the deadlines or were never dealt with by the data controller.

National data protection authorities and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) cooperate to ensure the compliance of the VIS database with data protection rules.

Additional Information: