Kazakhstan applicants for Schengen visas will be required to provide fingerprints, Tengrinews reports citing the German mission in Kazakhstan.
The new requirement will be officially introduced on November 14, when the consulates of the Schengen Agreement member-states in Kazakhstan are finely linked to the central Visa Information System (VIS) database.
VIS is an IT system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data. It has been in operation since October 11, 2011, but since it has a phased rollout, the Kazakhstan-based visa-issuing offices of the Schengen States are being connected to the central VIS database just now.
VIS aims to prevent visa fraud and visa shopping by applicants between EU member-states and to facilitate checks at external border crossing points and within the territory of the member states. The bodies having access to VIS are: Consulates, police authorities from the member states and Europol. Transfer of data to third countries or international organizations may take place only in an exceptional case of urgency, with the consent of the member state that entered the data.
"The person applying for a Schengen visa for the first time will need to appear in person at Schengen countries’ consular points for the provision of biometric data (10 fingerprints and a photograph)," the website reads.
However, there are categories of applicants for Schengen visa, who are exempt from the requirement. These are children under the age of 12, an array of diplomats and their spouses and persons from whom fingerprinting is physically impossible.
The British Embassy has already ended up apologizing for failing observe the latter principle in Kazakhstan. The British authorities denied a visa to Kazakhstan’s armless artist Karipbek Kuyukov based on lack of fingerprints when the honorary envoy of Atom project Karipbek Kuyukov was planning to visit an anti-nuclear conference in Great Britain this spring.