New Delhi: France will introduce biometric visas to Indian nationals from November 2, keeping in line with all the countries in the Schengen Area.
"To facilitate travel throughout the Schengen Area and help issue long-term visas more easily, France, in line with all the countries of the Schengen Area, will issue biometric visas to Indian citizens with effect from 2 November 2015," a release from the French embassy said.
In this context, the French Embassy in India will offer a large number of 3 or 5 year circulation visas to frequent visitors of France.
However, visas issued prior to the introduction of biometrics will remain valid, the release added.
All visa applicants will now be asked to come in person at any listed VFS centre of their choice to register their biometric data, it said, adding children under the age of 12 years are exempted from this procedure.
The recorded biometric data will be stored for a period of 59 months (almost 5 years), obviating the need for applicants to come in person again for renewing their visa.
Furthermore, the biometric data recorded by France will be valid during this period for all Schengen Area countries (similarly, the data recorded by any Schengen Area country will be valid for France during a period of 59 months).
The transition to biometrics will not impact the visa issuance period, which, for India, is a maximum of 48 hours, the release said.