Introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS)
In 2011, member States of the Schengen Agreement introduced the Visa Information System. The Visa Information System requires that visa applicants record their biometric data.
As of 15 May 2014, and as part of the international rollout of the Visa Information System by all member States of the Schengen Agreement:
- Fijian, Samoan, Tongan and Tuvaluan citizens;
- and foreign nationals residing in New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu who need a visa for travels to a member State of the Schengen Agreement;
must apply in person at the Schengen Agreement’s member State’s representation, i.e. the Swiss Embassy in Wellington for travels to Switzerland, to have their biometric data recorded (10-digit finger scans and a digital photograph). They must make an appointment in advance.
Fijian citizens and foreign nationals residing in Fiji can also apply at the Embassy of France in Suva.
An information leaflet of the European Union provides more details about the introduction of the Visa Information System.