Countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement, including France, have decided to grant biometric visas.
What is a biometric visa?
The implementation of biometric visas will generate the digitalisation of:
The visa applicant’s face: until now, all visa applicants have had to provide passport photographs to be scanned onto their visas. From now on, the Visa Officer will take your picture using a digital camera. You will still be required to bring one recent passport photograph to your appointment in case a technical problem occurs. Children under 6 applying for a visa for France and children under 12 applying for visa to French Territories are also required to bring a recent passport size photo
The visa applicant’s fingerprints: this new measure consists of digitalising the applicant’s 10 fingerprints. It is not necessary to be the holder of a biometric passport to make a visa application.
Implementation of biometric visas at the Consulate of France in Wellington
On the 14 July 2009, the Consulate of France in Wellington introduced the biometric visa.
This procedure is compulsory for each visa applicant over 6. As the process requires taking the photo and the ten fingerprints of each applicant, it is no longer possible to send in an application via the post. This rule also applies to residents of Samoa and the Cook Islands.
One appointment must be made for each passport holder. Applicants will need to make an appointment during the hours that the Consulate of France is open to the public: 9.15 am to 1.15 pm, Monday to Friday. Applicants will not be admitted to the Consulate if they do not have an appointment.
Appointments can be made by calling the Embassy: (04) 384 2555.
An application will not be processed if an appointment hasn’t been made. Only visa applications for African countries can be sent in by mail as biometric visas are not available for these destinations.
What are the changes for visa applicants?
Except for the applicant’s obligation to visit the Visa Section of the Consulate of France in person, there is no change to the procedure of applying for a visa.
The collection of biometric data at the time of application applies to all visa applicants, regardless of the type of passport (regular or diplomatic) they hold, their age, gender or social status.
The fact that you have previously been issued with a biometric visa does not make you exempt you from applying in person again. Legally it is compulsory to collect biometric data every time you apply for a visa.
At present, only children under 6 are not required to come to the Consulate in person. There is an exception for the Schengen visa, where only children over 12 have to come to the Consulate.
In these cases, only a recent passport photograph is required.