Thales reaches a major milestone in the deployment of the European visa-application management system


In Algiers, Schengen visa applications are now fully operational by the Thales outsourcing system to support the collection and transmission of biometric data.

Thales announces the first successful commissioning, in Algiers, of an outsourcing system to collect and transmit biometric data for Schengen visa applications.

This major milestone takes part of a contract signed with the French Ministry of the Interior that covers the provision of data acquisition systems in Algeria, the United Kingdom and Turkey, plus the central system based in France.

The Thales enrolment stations installed in Algiers enable more than 500 Algerian citizens and applicants from other nations to submit their visa applications, on a daily basis. These applications are then transmitted to the central information system hosted and managed by the Ministry of the Interior, via a highly secure network.

Nearly 10,000 visa applications have already been transmitted to the central system since 5 October 2011, when the system was launched.

The system supplied by Thales is based on a secure enrolment solution allowing the capture of civil status data and the acquisition of biometric data (facial photo, 10 fingerprints). This is  linked to a secure transmission solution for which sends the gathered data to a central database in France for integration into the Authority’s visa information system.

A number of powerful security and encoding mechanisms provide a very high level of confidentiality and security for these transactions, and comply with the requirements of the French Data Protection Law (CNIL). The system represents a key element of the management of migration flows in Europe.
“We are proud to be contributing this biometric solution to the French Ministry of the Interior for use in the European visa system, and to be showcasing the technological progress made by Thales in delivering this major identity programme”, explains Dominique Gaiardo, Thales VP, Managing Director in charge of Transport & Security business. Thales is recognised as a trusted partner in the field of secure identity documents.”

About Thales

Thales is a world leader, with more than 30 years’ experience in identity programmes worldwide. To date, the group has produced more than 250 million secure identity documents in more than 25 countries.