The Visa Information System (VIS)
The purpose of the system is, among other things, to facilitate the visa application procedure and border checks within the EU as well as to prevent visa shopping and fraud. The VIS contains personal data that has been collected and registered in connection to the visa application process. In addition to the personal data that is provided in the visa application form, the registered data also includes the applicant’s fingerprints and facial image.
Personal data is stored in a central database
The personal data is stored in a central database that is managed by the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA). Different authorities that issue visas as well as staff at border checks have access to the data. Under certain conditions, also other authorities may have access to VIS data for law enforcement purposes.
In Sweden, the Migration Agency is responsible for the processing of data in VIS.
EDPS and the national data protection authorities supervise
Supervision of the processing of data in the VIS is shared between the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and the EU Member States’ national data protection authorities. For the purpose of coordinated supervision, representatives of the EDPS and the national data protection authorities meet twice a year in the VIS Supervision Coordination Group (VIS SCG). EDPS is responsible for supervising the central database and national data protection authorities ensure that the national authorities handle data in the VIS correctly. This means that the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection (IMY) supervises how Swedish authorities are handling data in the VIS.
Read more about the supervision of VIS by the EDPS
Data subjects’ rights
As data subject (a person whose data is registered), you have the right to know what data about you that is held in the VIS. As data subject, you also have the right to ask that data in the VIS is rectified, erased or restricted. To exercise your rights, you may turn to the Swedish Migration Agency which is the authority responsible in Sweden for the processing of data in the VIS. If you are not satisfied with how your request has been dealt with by the Migration Agency, you may submit a complaint to the data protection authority, IMY.
The Migration Agency has developed a form for submitting requests for access to, rectification, erasure or restriction of personal data in central information systems. If you want to exercise your rights you can easily fill in the template and send it to the Migration Agency.