by Benson Agoha | International
In response to the escalating refugee migrant crisis, some European countries have introduced new strict visa rules to ensure that people arriving the continent and properly accounted for even if they move on from their first point of arrival.
|* Finger printed is now mandatory and must be done in person.|
Germany, one of the Schengen States has introduced new rules that make it compulsory for intending travellers to obtain a schengen visa in person before travelling.
In a news statement, the German government announced through its embassy across all South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that it has made obtaining a bio-metric visa a necessity. Biometric data on visas enables tracking of the individuals if needed.
Only children below the age of 12, handicapped persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically permanently impossible and Heads of State and member of the Government, and their spouses, as well as members of their delegation are excluded.
|* Credit: Times of India|
A typical message published by the German Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka read:
"The Embassy would like to inform about the introduction of the new Visa Information System (VIS) in all South Asian Countries."
"The VIS contains biographic and biometric data of persons applying for a Schengen visa. Its main objectives are to facilitate visa application procedures, checks at external borders and the exchange of data between Schengen countries on visa applications, as well as to assist in the fight against fraud and to enhance security."
"As of 2nd November 2015 all visa applicants need to appear in person for the collection of the biometric data (photograph and ten fingerprints) when applying for a Schengen Visa.
For subsequent applications within 59 months, fingerprints can be re-used from the VIS file unless there is reasonable doubt regarding the identity of the applicant."
Exemptions from the fingerprinting requirement are provided for:
- Children under the age of twelve;
- (Handicapped) persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically permanently impossible;
- Heads of State and members of the Government, with accompanying spouses, and the members of their official delegation when they are invited by Member States’ governments or by international organisations for an official purpose."
Only yesterday, former Prime Minister of Austrailia, Tony Abbott warned Europe that they migrant flood to Europe will likely change the continent for ever.
The new rule is not new to African countries like Nigeria, where all citizens have been long since required to obtain a Schengen visa before travelling to the Schengen area.