Migration and Home Affairs

Public Consultations

Friday, 9 February, 2018
Consultation on extending the scope of the Visa Information System (VIS) to include data on long stay visas and residence documents

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Policy field(s) 

Migration and Asylum, Borders and Security, Justice and Fundamental Rights

Period of consultation 

From 17.11.2017  to 09.02.2018 

Context of the consultation

The Visa Information System (VIS) is a large scale IT system that allows Schengen States implementing the visa acquis to exchange data on short stay visas and carry out visa processing. VIS connects consulates of these Schengen States in non-EU countries and all external border crossing points of these Schengen States. The system can perform biometric matching, primarily of fingerprints, for identification and verification purposes.

Objectives of the consultation

The Final Report of the High-level expert group on information systems and interoperability of May 2017 identified an information gap at EU level concerning the documents — whose issuance falls under the competence of Member States — that allow third-country nationals to stay for a longer period of time than short-stay visas in the Schengen area: long-stay visas, residence permits and residence cards. From a border control point of view, Member States have little means to check the authenticity of the document in combination with the identity of the holder, or the validity of the documents in the case where they are issued by another Member State. In this respect, the Council Conclusions of June 2017 on the way forward to improve information exchange and ensure the interoperability of EU information systems invited the Commission to undertake a feasibility study for the establishment of a central EU repository containing information on long-stay visas, residence cards and residence permits.

The conclusions of this study, finalized in September 2017, indicated that a repository as part of the VIS would provide the most feasible solution from an IT Security, ease of implementation and cost-effectiveness perspective.

This public consultation is part of a wider process of consultation of the stakeholders, feeding into an assessment on the necessity, proportionality and impact on fundamental rights of extending the scope of the VIS to include long stay visas and residence documents for the purpose of border checks and information exchange between Schengen migration authorities.

Target group(s)

Contributions to this public consultation are sought from individuals, public authorities, including national data protection authorities, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA), the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), as well as civil society and academic institutions.

How to submit your contribution

You can contribute to this public consultation by filling out the online questionnaire. You may find it useful to refer to the background document relating to this consultation. Additional reference documents can be found below.  

Replies may be submitted in any EU official language. Given possible delays in translating comments submitted in some languages, contributions in English, French, German and Italian are welcome, as they will help the Commission to process the results more swiftly.

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, the Commission asks organisations (including NGOs, trade associations, enterprises etc.) who wish to participate in public consultations to provide the Commission and the public with information about whom and what they represent, their objectives, funding and structures, by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

Please note that in order to ensure a fair and transparent consultation process only responses received through the online questionnaire will be taken into account and included in the report summarising the responses.

View the contributions

In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.

Results of consultation and next steps

The results of the public consultation will be taken into consideration for the preparation of the Commission legislative proposal amending the Visa Information System (VIS) and the Community Code on visas (the Visa Code). Explanations about how the contributions have been taken into account will be provided.

Protection of your personal data

The objective of this consultation is to gather the views of stakeholders and others, possibly for publication on the internet. The questions do not reflect the European Commission’s official position and in no way prejudge any decisions it may take in the future on the legislation on visa, borders and migration. As this online service collects and further processes personal data, it is subject to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet, unless you provide a substantial justification for your opposition to the publication of your contribution. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

The Commission stores personal data securely and does not share it with other parties. It will be entered in a list of contact details shared internally among Commission staff for the purpose of contacting you in the context of the Commission’s activities in the future. If you do not agree to this, please send an explicit objection to the Controller using the contact information included in the privacy statement.

Other reference documents and related consultations

Visa Code (Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas)
VIS Regulation (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)
Residence permit Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals)

Directive 2004/38 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.

VIS evaluation report and accompanying staff working documents (2016)
Open public consultation on lowering the fingerprinting age in the EU visa procedure
Open public consultation on potential ways to improve the security of ID cards and residence documents
Open public consultation on the interoperability of EU information systems for borders and security

Contact details

  • responsible service:
    DG Migration and Home Affairs
    Unit for Visa Policy and document security
  • e-mail:
  • postal address:
    Rue du Luxembourg/Luxemburgstraat 46
    1049 Bruxelles/Brussel