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EU aims to stop ‘visa shopping’

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The European Parliament has approved the draft proposals for a biometric database on June 7, 2007, which aims to prevent the practice, known as 'visa-shopping'.

EU has established the Visa-Information System (VIS), which is aimed to improve the implementation of a “common visa policy” in Europe. The VIS will be the world's largest biometric database with 70m sets of fingerprints. EU funded authority will manage the system. The system will be used by the European police agency Europol to supervise the database. The VIS will include information biometric photographs and fingerprints, as well as written information, like name, address and occupation of the applicant, and date and place of the application. It will also include any decision taken by the member-state responsible to issue, refuse, annul, revoke or extend the visa. According to new rules, biometrics will be used under controlled circumstances, by first using the visa sticker number for verification, along with fingerprints, with fall-back procedures also in place.

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