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EU to strengthen Visa Information System
December 19, 2018, 5:32 pm

The European Union (EU) Wednesday announced that it is improving its Visa Information System (VIS), a tool used by authorities to register and check persons applying for a visa to enter the Schengen area. EU ambassadors Wednesday agreed on a proposal to amend the Visa Information System (VIS) regulation, said an EU statement.

"We have a duty to ensure that those coming into the European Union do not pose a threat to our citizens and are not using false pretenses to get around existing migration rules. The new VIS rules will help improve security, especially via the registration of long-stay visa and residence permit applications in the system," said Herbert Kickl, Austrian Interior Minister whose country holds the current EU Presidency in a statement. Under the proposed new rules, the VIS will not only include information on short-stay visas but also on long-stay visas and residence permits, as these documents allow for free movement within the Schengen area.

Registering these documents in a centralized database will help the authorities to verify their authenticity and validity, it said. This would facilitate the return of illegally staying third-country nationals whose data may be stored in the VIS since, even if their travel document is not available at the time of return, a copy of it may be recognized by third countries as proof of nationality. In order to fulfill their obligations under Schengen rules, international air carriers should also be able to verify whether or not third-country nationals who are required to be in possession of a valid visa or residence permit have one. (

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