Are you a South African hoping to travel to Europe any time soon? Well, you better plan your visa application way in advance from now on – and I mean way in advance. It recently became apparent that a new system will be put in place which requires that biometric data become part of the Schengen visa application process.
iAfrica reported that the European Union plans to introduce its Visa Information System (VIS) in Southern Africa very soon. This means that you will now be required to appear at the embassy in person to apply for your visa to enable the collection of your own unique biometric data.
So what if you are in Cape Town and the embassy is in Pretoria? Well, sorry for you pal. You might now have to factor in some addition costs – yes on top of the R800 you are already paying for the visa – for travelling to apply for your visa. As if we didn’t have it hard enough with visas already, hey?
This will apply to all foreign passport holders when applying for short-stay travel visas for relevant Schengen states. Yet, once your data has been captured by the relevant embassy, such as fingerprints and digital photo, personal visits luckily won’t be necessary any more. So this will pretty much be a once off procedure.
This system is already in place in west, central and north Africa as well as in the east and Gulf region.