The expansion of the EU’s visa information system will see Finland adopt a fingerprint requirement for Russians applying for visas to enter the region.
Finland will begin collecting the scans from Russian visa applicants from September 14. All previously-granted visas will remain valid until their expiration date.
The move is part of an expansion of the EU’s Visa Information System, which collects a digital photo and a fingerprint scan from applicants wishing to enter the Schengen Area.
The VIS system records visa application and biometric data in a common EU database, which aims to help combat illegal migration and to facilitate border crossings and travel in the Schengen area.
The system was first introduced in 2011 and has gradually expanded throughout the world. It was taken into use in Ukraine in June and later this year will expand to China, Japan, South Korea, India and Nepal.
In preparation for the transition, Finland has adopted the technology required for fingerprint scans at the eastern border and has trained staff to use the new system.