VIS: a European system for issuing and managing visas

The Visa Information System allows visa information to be exchanged between member states of the Schengen agreement, increasing security within the EU.

The purpose of VIS is to facilitate the fight against fraud, contributing to the prevention of "Visa shopping", improving consultation of visas, making controls easier, contributing to internal security and the fight against terrorism. The information system at the basis of the project has a centralized technological component in Strasbourg, fed with all the information on entrance visas that are issued by the partners to the agreement.

Engineering has aided Italian institutions on the matter of entrance visas since 1996, thanks to the development of the project for Italy's entry into the Schengen Treaty (October 1997). Engineering has created an entire suite of applications used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is integrated and managed with the VIS, for the issue of visas at consulates and the automatic handling of applications, and also used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the issue of visas at borders and for controlling incoming foreign citizens.

In compliance with Regulation (EC) 767/2008, the Italian system allows handling of alphanumerical and biometric data of all the citizens of other countries with the obligation of visas who have applied. Each application has digital fingerprints that will be used to identify the visa applicants.  This check is used for controls at borders, for identifying foreigners in Italy and for creating files (logical correlation between visa applications processed by various countries).

A system for consular cooperation between the member countries of the agreement and a website for outsourcing agencies that collaborate with the consulates have also been created to complete all functions.