Can I re-enter Schengen if I am listed in SIS (Schengen Information System)?

Nov 20, 2020

When crossing an external border Non-EU-country national are subject to thorough checks. In particular a set of entry conditions need to be verified. A non-EU national seeking to enter Schengen for stays not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period, must:

  • possess a valid travel document issued within the previous 10 years, with a validity of at least 3 months after the intended date of departure
  • possess a valid visa, if required;
  • justify the purpose of the intended stay and have sufficient financial means both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return (to their country of origin or to a third country into which they are certain to be admitted), or can acquire such means lawfully;
  • not have an alert issued for him/her in the Schengen information system (SIS) for the purpose of refusing entry;
  • not be considered a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of member states, in particular where no alert has been issued in Member States’ national data bases for the purposes of refusing entry on the same grounds.

What is SIS – Schengen Information System (now SIS II)

The SIS is a large-scale IT database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation between Schengen countries. SIS allows the relevant national authorities, such as the police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on persons or objects. An SIS alert contains information about a particular person or object and also instructions for authorities on what to do when the person or object has been found.

The SIS contains information on suspected criminals, individuals who may not have the right to enter or stay in the EU, missing persons, stolen, misappropriated or lost property.

The SIS is used by national authorities responsible for border controls, police and customs checks, public prosecutions in criminal proceedings and judicial inquiries prior to charge, visas and residence permits.

What kind of alerts can be entered into the SIS?

SIS contains alert on persons – who are either wanted for arrest, missing, sought to assist with a judicial procedure, for discreet or specific checks, or third country nationals subject to refusal of entry or stay in the Schengen area, and, secondly, objects – such as vehicles, travel documents, credit cards, for seizure or use as evidence in criminal proceedings, or for discreet or specific checks.

The SIS alert always consists of three parts: (i) A set of data for identifying the person or object; (II) A statement why the person or object is sought and (iii) instruction on the action to be taken when the person or object is found.

Is it possible to request access to personal data in the SIS?

Individuals have a right of access and a right to correction of inaccurate data and deletion of unlawfully stored data. These rights can be exercised in any Schengen country regardless of the State that issued the alert because all national databases are identical to the central system database.

Anyone who wants to know which personal data are processed in the SIS or if someone wants to correct or delete the data, because they were wrongfully entered in the system, can make a relevant request in any Schengen country, by contacting the relevant authority. Those who currently reside outside the Schengen Area can also contact the consulate of a Schengen country in the country in which they currently live.

Guide for exercising the right of access has been adopted, which provides detailed information on the rights under the SIS legal framework and which lists all the competent authorities to be contacted in the Member States as well as how to proceed. The guide also contains two sample letters, one for the right of access and one for the right of correction or deletion.

When the right of access, correction of inaccurate data and deletion of unlawfully stored data is exercised, the relevant authorities should reply within a strict deadline. The individual shall be informed as soon as possible and no later than 60 days from the date on which he applies, or sooner if provided by the national law.  Also, the individual shall be informed about the follow-up given to the exercise of his rights of correction and deletion as soon as possible and no later than 3 months from the date on which he applies, or sooner if national law so provides.

In Italy, the right of access may be exercised, by applying to the Public Security Department of the Ministry of the Interior. No special requirements are to be met in order to lodge the application (which may be sent either by post or by fax or certified email) nor is there any fee or tax to be paid. In order to expedite the process, the request should be drawn up, if possible, in Italian, English, French or German and signed by the applicant. It should contain a description of the grounds on which it is lodged, and be accompanied by a photocopy of a valid ID. In general, an answer (not necessarily a final one) has to be provided within 30 days.

Giuditta Petreni

Giuditta Petreni has over 10 years of experience in assisting companies and business investors with relocation of managers and staff to Italy. Giuditta has extensive experience advising corporate and private clients on a full range of Italian immigration categories. She is fluent in Italian and English.

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