Talk to the hand: New visa rules means applicants need to give the governor the finger, along with a photograph

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People applying for a visa to Schengen-member countries will need to provide a digitally scanned fingerprint and photo at The Governor of Svalbard’s office starting Nov. 20.

A Visa Information System (VIS) being implemented in the Schengen Zone is designed to improve border security by storing applicants’ biometric data and travel history in a common database, according to a statement  from the governor. The data will be stored for five years.

“Frequent travelers will in principle only have to complete the procedure once within this period, as the fingerprints may be copied from the previous application file in the VIS,” the statement notes.

Exemptions are provided for children under 12, persons physically unable to provide fingerprints, and heads of state and their spouses during official travel.

Visas issued before Nov. 20 will remain valid until their expiration.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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