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

Policy field(s) 

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

Period of consultation 

From 17.08.2017  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 was 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 were sought from individuals, public authorities, including national data protection authorities and child protection authorities and the Ombudsperson for Children, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the EU Agency of 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.

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.

Results of this consultation

The results of the public consultation were 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). A summary report is available in the impact assessment accompanying the proposal (see Annex 2).

The consultation attracted a total of 28 replies out of which 19 respondents replied as individuals and 9 in their professional capacity or on behalf of an organisation.

The blank version of the questionnaire and the contributions are available below. Some personal data has been removed from the responses received and some answers have been anonymised at the request of the respondent.

Documents of this consultation

Protection of your personal data

The objective of this consultation was 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 are published above, unless a substantial justification for opposition to the publication of the contribution was provided. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution are dealt with.

The Commission stores personal data securely and does not share it with other parties. It was 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

Contact details

  • responsible service:
    DG Migration and Home Affairs
    Unit for Visa Policy and document security
  • e-mail: HOME-NOTIFICATIONSB2@ec.europa.eu
  • postal address:
    Rue du Luxembourg/Luxemburgstraat 46
    1049 Bruxelles/Brussel