- New Government Database Tracks Immigration Violations
- June 26, 2013
- Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
Germany launched the Visa Alert Database (Visa-Warndatei), a new electronic database used to track instances of immigration noncompliance and criminal activity, on June 1, 2013. Employees of companies with negative entries in the database may be barred from future immigration filings, a first under the German immigration system.
The database gathers information on individuals and organizations that have committed past immigration or criminal violations, including unlawful entries, visa overstays, unlawful work, fraud or misrepresentation in immigration-related applications, document forgery, and drug-related crimes. Information in the new database will come from Germany’s local immigration offices, police and public prosecutor offices, and consular posts abroad.
Germany’s federal foreign office and all consular posts worldwide can request data from the database when reviewing visa applications. Local police and immigration offices can also request access to the database to verify information for local immigration procedures, such as visa extensions and deportation proceedings.
If the database shows that an employer or its signatories have previously been found to have made false or misleading statements in invitation letters or other immigration-related documents, its employees could be barred from future immigration filings. Though consular and government officials may use information in the database to inform decisions on applications, they are not obligated to deny an application based solely on a match in the database.
German officials will use the database along with similar European databases, including the Schengen Information System and the Visa Information System. Information contained in the new database will not be shared with other Schengen countries.