NEWS FLASH: Latest information for obtaining a short stay Schengen Visa – Deployment of the Visa Information System (VIS) as from 6 June 2013
From 6 June 2013 onwards, all Schengen States' consulates in Zambia will use the Visa Information System (VIS), a central database for the exchange of data on short-stay visas between Schengen States.
The main objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external borders as well as to enhance security.
The VIS will contain all the Schengen visa applications lodged by an applicant over 5 years and the decisions taken by any Schengen State's consulate. Visa applicants' biometric data (fingerprints and a digital photograph) will also be registered into the VIS, so as to protect visa applicants better against identity theft and prevent false identifications.
From 6 June 2013 all first-time visa applicants will have to appear in person when lodging the application, in order to provide their fingerprints.
If you wish to travel to the a European country, procedures for obtaining a short stay visa differ, depending on whether or not you intend to travel to a country that is a party to the Schengen Agreement, or to a non-Schengen EU Member State.
A large number of EU Member States are party to the Schengen Agreement that provides for a uniform approach to visa issues. Please, note that selected European states, not belonging to the EU, are also party to the Schengen Agreement.
At the same time, there are EU Member States that maintain separate national visa arrangements, outside the Schengen Agreement.
The following graph illustrates membership of the Schengen Agreement.
For travelers to one of the Schengen countries, please, read carefully the following information sheet on General Schengen Visa Requirements [31 KB] , which will also give you guidance as to which country's Embassy you need to apply to.
If you are going to travel to a non-Schengen EU Member State (Ireland or the UK), you need to contact the embassy of the particular country.