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#AllChange: New biometric rules for new Shengen Visa applicants.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Sebastien Blanc A photo taken on September 8, 2012 shows a fingerprint reader collecting biometric data for a mobile passport-making machine at the French embassy in Beijing. The Minister responsible for French nationals abroad in Beijing has launched a mobile device for collecting biometric data, to facilitate the process of applying for passports to those who live far from their consulate. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones        (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Sebastien Blanc
A photo taken on September 8, 2012 shows a fingerprint reader collecting biometric data for a mobile passport-making machine at the French embassy in Beijing. The Minister responsible for French nationals abroad in Beijing has launched a mobile device for collecting biometric data, to facilitate the process of applying for passports to those who live far from their consulate. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages)

UK-based applicants for Schengen visas are now required to provide their biometric data when applying for a new visa, as part of new European Union regulation sintroduced in November.

Biometric data, comprising fingerprints and facial photo, must be submitted with visa applications at any of VFS Global’s four visa application centres in the UK, located in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

This regulation was introduced by the Schengen member states on 11 October 2011, and is being implemented globally in stages.

The biometric enrollment applies only to new applications from 20 November, as existing Schengen visas are still valid until their individual expiry dates.

As previously, people living in the UK requiring a Schengen visa can visit a VFS Global Schengen visa application centre to submit applications.

In the UK, biometric enrolment applies only to those nationalities that need a visa to travel to the Schengen countries.

Once the biometric data is enrolled it will remain valid for 59 months.  Children under the age of twelve will be exempted from biometric enrollment.

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