The Schengen Information System (SIS)

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is an information system that was introduced in the context of the implementation of the Schengen area. It is one of the measures taken to compensate the free movement provided by the Schengen Agreement and Convention. With these compensatory measures it is intended to provide at least the same level of protection as before the borders were opened. With this information system the responsible authorities of the Schengen States can exchange information for border controls of persons and objects and for the issuing of visas and residence permits.

The SIS is operational since 26 March 1995, the day the Schengen Convention was brought into force.

The SIS pursues a double objective:

  • protect public safety and public order;
  • apply the provisions on the free movement of individuals.

Can be registered in the SIS :

  • persons wanted for arrest or extradition procedure;
  • non-nationals for whom an alert has been issued for the purpose of refusing entry into the Schengen area;
  • missing persons and persons who need to be placed under protection (especially minors and persons who have to be interned);
  • witnesses or persons summoned to appear before judicial authorities in connection with a criminal matter; 
  • persons under discreet surveillance or specific checks in the context of combatting criminal acts or preventing disturbances in the public order.

As part of the so-called “third pillar”, the EU policy area that covers police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the SIS is now a second-generation system (SIS II).