As a member of the Schengen area, the Slovak Republic had to build a national visa information system and interlink it to the Schengen Central Visa System (CVIS). We have launched the information system at 68 consular offices of the Slovak Republic around the world, which has provided us with an opportunity to obtain and store biometric data of visa applicants and to securely exchange it with the Central Visa Information System and with information systems of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.
We started the project in January 2006 and successfully launched it in December 2006.
Client: MZVEZ SR - The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Assignment and its challenges
The Slovak Republic, as a member state of the European Union and the Schengen area, has been obliged to build its NVIS, which would be in a full compliance with European and national legislation.
NVIS is intended to support issuance of national and Schengen visas to third-country nationals subject to a visa requirement and to provide the following basic functions:
- receiving data on visa applicant (including biometric),
- storing and registering of applications,
- consulting an approval of application (VISMail),
- approval / rejection of application,
- printing a visa sticker,
- registration of visa stickers,
- communication with CVIS,
- communication with supporting applications (eŽoV for an electronic submission of visa applications, xŽoV for receiving visa applications from external entities),
- communication with third party information systems (authorized organizations for law enforcement),
- representing other Member States in issuing visas,
- administration of visa stickers, users, and system itself.
NVIS has been programmed in Java with multiple application interfaces. Its central part currently works on virtual servers on the Sun / Solaris platform and PostgreSQL is used as a database server. A central part communicates with local application servers located at consular offices of the Slovak Republic abroad. These local application servers run on either SUN / Solaris or the x86 / CentOS platform. In both cases, they run Tomcat application servers.
NVIS external communication is fully compatible with requirements of the ICD (Interface Command Document of the Central VIS, supplied by EU-LISA) in its current version. The internal communication mechanism uses its own optimized web services.
The NVIS user interface uses several less standard Input-Output peripheral devices (printers, scanners, digital cameras, document readers, fingerprint readers, signature tablets). NVIS communication with these peripherals is handled by a separate service module, shared with other information systems operated on shared end-workstations.
Result - benefits of the new solution
Thanks to the system developed by us, the Slovak Republic has fulfilled its legal obligation as a member of the European Union and the Schengen area. The system fully supports its original objective of helping improve implementation of common visa policy, consular cooperation and consultations between the central visa authorities of the Member States, help facilitate fight against fraud, enable smooth control at external border crossing points as well as at Member States' territories, enable identification of persons, and contribute to prevention of threats to internal security of the Member States.
Data collection and storage and information exchange with CVIS
Transparency of all relevant information about visa applicants
User management and visa sticker management
Possibility of online check of the Schengen visas validity at border crossings
Possibility of online check of persons’ identity at border crossings
Since its launch, NVIS has been continuously supported and regularly updated to be in a full compliance with relevant legislation from a moment of coming into force.