Schengen Visa News

Bulgaria & Romania Gain Read-Only Access to EU’s Visa Information System

The European Union granted read-only access to the Visa Information System (VIS) to the competent authorities of Bulgaria and Romania, the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Field of Freedom, Security and Justice – EU-LISA announced.

VIS, a system that facilitates, among other things, the exchange of data on short-stay visas between Schengen countries, and will now enable authorities in Bulgaria and Romania to access information about travel throughout the European Union and the borderless Schengen area upon arrival. to each of these non-EU countries.

In this way, these two countries will now be able to check if a traveler has been denied entry to another EU country, including the reasons and frequency of each traveler across the block, reports.

“Romana and Bulgaria are not part of the Schengen area and, in any case, read-only access to VIS will help them use and implement EES, Entry/Exit System, another large-scale IT system that will record entry and exit of a third-country national to and from the Schengen area from order to increase automation at border checkpoints and prevent irregular migration”, stated the statement published by eu-LISA.

In addition, the announcement by the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in Freedom, Security and Justice, known as eu-LISA, emphasized that “EES, expected to enter its operations in the first half of 2022, will also mean the digitization of the practice Existing passport stamps manually.

VIS is also designed to process data and decisions regarding short-stay visa applications in the Schengen area.

eu-LISA stressed that read-only access to VIS would help Bulgaria and Romania view new visa applications and access email services for “more smooth visa processing”.

Both countries will qualify for full access to VIS if they become part of the borderless zone. In this regard, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said earlier this month that the Schengen area should be completed by allowing Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania to take their place in the Schengen area, according to which they all met. Required requirements.

Romania and Bulgaria started the VIS accession procedures in 2019 after a series of technical tests to join the system.

According to the eu-LISA announcement, Croatia is also in the testing phase and is expected to get read-only access to VIS in 2022.

The two Balkan countries joined the European Union in 2007. On the other hand, Croatia became a member of the European Union in 2013.

Previously, the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale Information Technology Systems in Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA) and the European Asylum Support Office signed a cooperation plan, within the framework of an effective formal working arrangement. Since 2014, for cooperation in the areas of borders and internal security for European citizens.

Besides, eu-LISA also cooperates with other European agencies in the field of justice and security, known as Justice and Home Affairs Agencies (JHA) – CEPOL, EMCDDA, EIGE, Eurojust, Europol, FRA and Frontex.

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