Federal Office for Migration

Introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS)

On 11 October 2011 the Schengen member states introduced the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS is used to store the biometric data (10 fingerprints and the facial image) of the visa applicant.

Therefore, all Swiss diplomatic representations connected to the VIS capture the biometric data of persons applying for a Schengen visa. The Swiss diplomatic representations will be gradually connected to the system region by region according to the following timetable (as far as known):

Date of connection
Swiss diplomatic representations concerned
11 October 2011 Cairo, Tunis, Algiers, Rabat, Tripoli
10 May 2012 Amman, Beirut, Tel Aviv, Ramallah (Damascus currently closed)
2 October 2012 Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Tehran
14 March 2013 Abidjan, Accra, Abuja, Dakar, Yaoundé, Kinshasa
6 june 2013 Addis Ababa, Antananarivo, Kapstadt, Khartum, Nairobi, Pretoria
9 september 2013 South America
14 november 2013 CIS-Central Asia, Southeast Asia


An information leaflet in different languages regarding the introduction of the VIS and the capturing of biometric data can be found below.

Information leaflet Visa Information System (VIS)