The role of the VIS in the field of internal security remains limited, partly due to the current lack of access to the VIS for this purpose in EU Member States. According to a eu-LISA report, between September 2013 and September 2015, only 11 Member States granted access to the VIS to designated law enforcement authorities, which resulted in around 9 400 searches (see figure 9). Although, as of 1 September 2013, Europol gained access to the VIS, its connection to the database has not yet been established.
In September 2015, 20 % of the visa applications processed in the VIS did not contain fingerprints. According to the evaluation report by the Commission, in March 2016, there were 23 million visa applications stored in the VIS and 18.8 million fingerprints. There are three main reasons for the lack of fingerprints in the VIS: applicants, such as children under the age of 12, Heads of State or Government, sovereigns and other senior members of a royal family were legally exempted from the requirement (Article 13(7) of the Visa Code); it was physically impossible to provide fingerprints (Article 13(7) of the Visa Code), or the application was lodged in a region where the VIS had not yet been implemented. As reported by the eu-LISA, Member States do not always comply with the rules on how to indicate the reasons for not collecting fingerprints, which affects the quality and the accuracy of the data stored in the database.