European Union: Improvements to Immigration Data Management Systems Across the European Union Proposed

The European Commission has outlined its proposals to enhance existing immigration and criminal information data management systems used across the European Union and to implement new programs through legislation, with the goal of protecting external borders and enhancing internal security. The report also highlights the long-term objective of improving inoperability issues of information systems and creating a committee to support and analyze the interconnectivity of information systems across the European Union.

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Apr 08, 2016
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The European Commission has outlined its proposals to enhance existing immigration and criminal information data management systems and to implement new programs through legislation.

Proposed Enhancements

The following are among the Commission's proposals to enhance existing programs:

• Standardizing passenger information obtained through the Passenger Name Records system, which uses data to identify high-risk travelers;
• Improving the functionality of the Schengen Information System (SIS) to allow the use of facial images for identification and to enhance the existing alert system, among other improvements.
• Establishing systems to automatically update data regarding stolen or lost travel documents through the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database;
• Establishing automated cross-checking of Advance Passenger Information against the SIS and SLTD databases;
• Enhancing the functionality of the Visa Information System by enabling biometric matching, reducing the age limit for collection of children's fingerprints and facilitating cross-database data comparison; and
• Reforming the EURODAC system - a fingerprint database used to identify asylum seekers and irregular border-crossers - by improving return and readmission procedures.

Proposed New Programs

The following are among the Commission's proposals for new programs:

• Creating a fourth border management system called the Entry-Exit System, which would register the personal and biometric data of third-country nationals entering and exiting the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any a 180-day period, would link this data to electronic entry and exit records and would detect visa overstays in the Schengen area. The system is expected to be implemented by 2020. The current practice of stamping travel documents would be discontinued;
• Creating an Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which would allow searching and verification of fingerprints to complement the SIS, which only allows searches based on name and date of birth, among other non-biometric factors;
• Creating an EU Travel Information and Authorisation System for visa-exempt travelers to register information about their stay; and
• Creating a police records system that would improve the accessibility of cross-border information stored in national law enforcement databases.

The Commission also discussed ways to resolve system inoperability issues and proposed to start an Expert Group of Information Systems and Inoperability to address the legal, technical and operational aspects of systems operation. The goal of the group would be to analyze and promote the interconnectivity of multiple databases used by the EU member states.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

The European Commission's proposals are an important step toward improving the effectiveness and efficiency of immigration and criminal data management across the EU member states, with the goal of protecting external borders and enhancing internal security.

Fragomen will monitor the proposals' progress and will report on further developments.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Worldwide or send an email to brusselsinfo@fragomen.com.


© 2016 Fragomen Worldwide

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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