The EC has published tougher rules for obtaining Schengen visas by Russians

The consulates of the EU countries were given more powers to refuse to issue entry permits to Russians “(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

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The European Commission has clarified the rules for obtaining Schengen visas by Russians after the abolition of the simplified regime for obtaining permits to enter the EU. The message published on the website of the European Commission states that consulates can independently establish the rules for issuing short-term Schengen visas, taking into account, among other things, the expulsion of diplomats and employees in embassies in Russia.

In particular, consular employees have received the following rights :

  • Give low priority to those who do not have a strong need to enter the EU, including tourists;
  • increase the processing time for visa applications from 15 to 45 days in order to conduct more thorough screening of applicants for Schengen applications;
  • require additional documents to avoid possible threats from applicants to security and public order.

In addition, the EU indicated that all citizens in respect of whom there is a suspicion of a possible violation of the law should be denied a visa. Also, consular staff are advised to refuse Schengen to Russians if there is a suspicion that they will violate the period of stay.

Also, — EU members are allowed to cancel existing Schengen visas that were previously issued to Russian citizens if, after verification, it turns out that their holders have become a security risk. It is also possible to replace a Schengen visa with a national one (without the right to visit other countries).

EU countries are invited to refuse to issue long-term multiple visas, while taking into account the economic instability and political situation in Russia. The focus should be on short-term permits with the right to a single entry into the EU.

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Commenting on the decisions made, EU Commissioner for Internal Policy Ylva Johansson said that visiting the EU for tourism purposes is not a fundamental right. However, she promised that Brussels will protect those who really need to enter the European Union.

On Friday, the European Commission announced the suspension of the visa facilitation agreement with Russia from 12 September. In addition, this means an increase in the visa fee for a Schengen visa from €35 to €80.

The simplified visa regime with Russia has been in effect since the summer of 2007. On February 25, the day after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, the EU partially suspended the agreement for a number of Russian citizens.

As of September 1, 2022, about 963,000 Russians had valid Schengen visas.

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