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This seems to be a recurring theme in the discussion boards here, and appears unknown to be publicly available by some members. So I though it would be helpful to have it here...

What information is available through the Schengen Visa Information System??

  • Actually, the information available are not completely unknown. The uncertainty is greater regarding the SIS and especially the national systems country might still maintain. Also, there are lots of discussions on this site because people find it difficult to accept that the information is still very limited compared to what they think such a system ought to contain. – Relaxed Aug 25 at 15:24
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This information is available to the public at EUR-Lex.

All the data stored in the VIS is described in Article 9:

Data to be entered on application

The visa authority shall enter the following data in the application file:

  1. the application number;

  2. status information, indicating that a visa has been requested;

  3. the authority with which the application has been lodged, including its location, and whether the application has been lodged with that authority representing another Member State;

  4. the following data to be taken from the application form:

(a) surname (family name); first name or names (given names); date of birth; sex;

(aa) surname at birth (former surname(s)); place and country of birth; current nationality and nationality at birth;

(b) the type and number of the travel document or documents and the three-letter code of the issuing country of the travel document or documents;

(c) the date of expiry of the validity of the travel document or documents;

(ca) the authority which issued the travel document and its date of issue;

(d) place and date of the application;

(f) details of the person issuing an invitation and/or liable to pay the applicant's subsistence costs during the stay, being:

(i) in the case of a natural person, the surname and first name and address of the person;

(ii) in the case of a company or other organisation, the name and address of the company/other organisation, surname and first name of the contact person in that company/organisation;

(g) Member State(s) of destination and duration of the intended stay or transit;

(h) main purpose(s) of the journey;

(i) intended date of arrival in the Schengen area and intended date of departure from the Schengen area;

(j) Member State of first entry;

(k) the applicant’s home address;

(l) current occupation and employer; for students: name of educational establishment

(m) in the case of minors, surname and first name(s) of the applicant's parental authority or legal guardian

  1. a photograph of the applicant, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1683/95;

  2. fingerprints of the applicant, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Common Consular Instructions.

When the visa is issued, the information is updated according to Article 10 to include:

  1. Where a decision has been taken to issue a visa, the visa authority that issued the visa shall add the following data to the application file:

(a) status information indicating that the visa has been issued;

(b) the authority that issued the visa, including its location, and whether that authority issued it on behalf of another Member State;

(c) place and date of the decision to issue the visa;

(d) the type of visa;

(da) if applicable, the information indicating that the visa has been issued with limited territorial validity pursuant to Article 25(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009;

(e) the number of the visa sticker;

(f) the territory in which the visa holder is entitled to travel, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Common Consular Instructions;

(g) the commencement and expiry dates of the validity period of the visa;

(h) the number of entries authorised by the visa in the territory for which the visa is valid;

(i) the duration of the stay as authorised by the visa;

(j) if applicable, the information indicating that the visa has been issued on a separate sheet in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 333/2002 of 18 February 2002 on a uniform format for forms for affixing the visa issued by Member States to persons holding travel documents not recognised by the Member State drawing up the form ( 6 );

(k) if applicable, the information indicating that the visa sticker has been filled in manually;

(l) if applicable, the status of the person indicating that the third-country national is a member of the family of a Union citizen to whom Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 7 ) applies or of a third-country national enjoying the right of free movement equivalent to that of Union citizens under an agreement between the Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and a third country, on the other.

  1. If an application is withdrawn or not pursued further by the applicant before a decision has been taken whether to issue a visa, the visa authority with which the application was lodged shall indicate that the application has been closed for these reasons and the date when the application was closed.

If the visa has been refused, Article 12 states:

  1. Where a decision has been taken to refuse a visa, the visa authority which refused the visa shall add the following data to the application file:

(a) status information indicating that the visa has been refused and whether that authority refused it on behalf of another Member State;

(b) the authority that refused the visa, including its location;

(c) place and date of the decision to refuse the visa.

  1. The application file shall also indicate the ground(s) for refusal of the visa, which shall be one or more of the following:

(a) the applicant:

(i) presents a travel document which is false, counterfeit or forged;

(ii) does not provide justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay;

(iii) does not provide proof of sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to his country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which he is certain to be admitted, or is not in a position to acquire such means lawfully;

(iv) has already stayed for 90 days during the current 180-day period on the territory of the Member States on the basis of a uniform visa or a visa with limited territorial validity;

(v) is a person for whom an alert has been issued in the SIS for the purpose of refusing entry;

(vi) is considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security or public health as defined in Article 2(19) of the Schengen Borders Code or to the international relations of any of the Member States, in particular where an alert has been issued in Member States’ national databases for the purpose of refusing entry on the same grounds;

(vii) does not provide proof of holding adequate and valid travel medical insurance, where applicable;

(b) the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable;

(c) the applicant’s intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained;

(d) sufficient proof that the applicant has not been in a position to apply for a visa in advance justifying application for a visa at the border was not provided.

If the visa is revoked or annulled, Article 13 states:

  1. Where a decision has been taken to annul or to revoke a visa, the visa authority that has taken the decision shall add the following data to the application file:

(a) status information indicating that the visa has been annulled or revoked;

(b) authority that annulled or revoked the visa, including its location;

(c) place and date of the decision.

  1. The application file shall also indicate the ground(s) for annulment or revocation, which shall be:

(a) one or more of the ground(s) listed in Article 12(2);

(b) the request of the visa holder to revoke the visa.

  1. Where a decision has been taken to annul or to revoke a visa, the visa authority that has taken the decision shall immediately retrieve and export from the VIS into the Entry/Exit System established by Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 8 ) (EES) the data listed under Article 19(1) of that Regulation.

And lastly for this answer, Article 18 lays out which data is accessible to border officials and the procedure for accessing said data:

  1. For the sole purpose of verifying the identity of the visa holders, the authenticity, temporal and territorial validity and status of the visa or whether the conditions for entry to the territory of the Member States in accordance with Article 6 of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 are fulfilled, or both, the competent authorities for carrying out checks at borders at which the EES is operated shall have access to the VIS to search using the following data:

(a) surname (family name), first name or names (given names); date of birth; nationality or nationalities; sex; type and number of the travel document or documents; three letter code of the issuing country of the travel document or documents; and the date of expiry of the validity of the travel document or documents; or

(b) the number of the visa sticker.

  1. Solely for the purposes referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, where a search is launched in the EES pursuant to Article 23(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, the competent border authority shall launch a search in the VIS directly from the EES using the data referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1 of this Article.

  2. By way of derogation from paragraph 2 of this Article, where a search is launched in the EES pursuant to Article 23(2) or (4) of Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, the competent border authority may search the VIS without making use of the interoperability with the EES, where specific circumstances so require, in particular, where it is more appropriate, due to the specific situation of a third-country national, to search using the data referred to in point (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article, or where it is technically impossible, on a temporary basis, to consult the EES data or in the event of a failure of the EES.

  3. If the search with the data listed in paragraph 1 indicates that data are stored in the VIS on one or more issued or extended visas which are within their validity period and are under their territorial validity for the border crossing, the competent authority for carrying out checks at borders at which the EES is operated shall be given access to consult the following data contained in the application file concerned as well as in an application file or files linked pursuant to Article 8(4), solely for the purposes referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article:

(a) the status information and the data taken from the application form, referred to in Article 9(2) and (4);

(b) photographs;

(c) the data referred to in Articles 10, 13 and 14 and entered in respect of the visa(s) issued, annulled or revoked or of the visa or visas whose validity is extended.

In addition, for those visa holders for whom certain data are not required to be provided for legal reasons or factually cannot be provided, the competent authority for carrying out checks at borders at which the EES is operated shall receive a notification related to the specific data field or fields concerned which shall be marked as ‘not applicable’.

  1. If the search with the data listed in paragraph 1 of this Article indicates that data on the person are recorded in the VIS but no valid visa is recorded, the competent authority for carrying out checks at borders at which the EES is operated shall be given access to consult the following data contained in the application file or files as well as in an application file or files linked pursuant to Article 8(4), solely for the purposes referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article:

(a) the status information and the data taken from the application form, referred to in Article 9(2) and (4);

(b) photographs;

(c) the data referred to in Articles 10, 13 and 14 and entered in respect of the visa(s) issued, annulled or revoked or of the visa or visas whose validity is extended.

  1. In addition to the consultation carried out under paragraph 1 of this Article, the competent authority for carrying out checks at borders at which the EES is operated shall verify the identity of a person against the VIS if the search with the data listed in paragraph 1 of this Article indicates that data on the person are recorded in the VIS and one of the following conditions is met:

(a) the identity of the person cannot be verified against the EES in accordance with Article 23(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, because:

(i) the visa holder is not yet registered into the EES;

(ii) the identity is verified, at the border crossing point concerned, using fingerprints in accordance with Article 23(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/2226;

(iii) there are doubts as to the identity of the visa holder;

(iv) of any other reason;

(b) the identity of the person can be verified against the EES but Article 23(5) of Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 applies.

The competent authorities for carrying out checks at borders at which the EES is operated shall verify the fingerprints of the visa holder against the fingerprints recorded in the VIS. For visa holders whose fingerprints cannot be used, the search referred to in paragraph 1 shall be carried out only with the alphanumeric data provided for in paragraph 1.

  1. For the purpose of verifying the fingerprints against the VIS as provided for in paragraph 6, the competent authority may launch a search from the EES to the VIS.

  2. Where verification of the visa holder or of the visa fails or where there are doubts as to the identity of the visa holder or the authenticity of the visa or travel document, the duly authorised staff of the competent authorities for carrying out checks at borders at which the EES is operated shall have access to data in accordance with Article 20(1) and (2).

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