This article was originally published on September 23, 2022, and was updated on October 3, 2022, to reflect new information.
October 4, 2022, Update: The European Commission (EC) released additional guidance on suspending its visa facilitation agreement with Russia. Under this guidance, European Union (EU) member states are requested to assess the conditions under which Russian citizens are issued a Schengen visa. According to the announcement, this includes taking a stricter approach to issue visas to Russian citizens fleeing military mobilization.
The guidance recommends that Russian citizens planning to remain in the EU long-term must apply for a long-stay visa. For short-term stay purposes, consulates are advised to examine the need for a humanitarian visa.
Member states with border entries into the EU are advised to implement stricter entrance requirements and complete more detailed document checks.
Original Post From September 23, 2022:
- The European Commission introduced guidelines to assist EU member states in implementing new changes for the handling of short-term visa applications from Russian nationals
The European Commission introduced guidelines to assist European Union (EU) member state consulates in handling short-stay visa applications lodged by Russian citizens. The EU will continue to remain open to Russian visa applicants traveling for essential purposes.
According to the guidelines, the European Commission recommends that member states’ consulate offices implement the following approaches:
- Deprioritize visa applications submitted by Russian nationals for non-essential travel purposes, such as tourism
- Extend the decision processing time for applications submitted by Russian nationals. Consulates can potentially expand timeframes from 15 days to 45 days for some cases to conduct more thorough checks on applications
- Requesting additional supporting documents to be provided, such as criminal background checks
The Commission also advised that member states take the following steps:
- Ensure a stricter approach is taken when reassessing valid short-term visas previously issued to Russian nationals
- Revoke short-term stay visas issued to Russian nationals who may present a security threat to the EU
- Refrain from issuing multiple-entry visas with long validity periods and instead issue single-entry visas with shorter validity periods
Check here for additional information and insight into the proposed guidelines for EU member states and their process for issuing short-term stay visas to Russian nationals.
What are the Changes?
The European Commission recommended changes for EU member states’ consulates to consider when issuing visas to Russian nationals. According to the announcement, these guidelines are intended to assist member states in ensuring that consulates can implement proper measures for processing short-term visas following the suspension of the EU visa facilitation agreement with Russia.
Continue to check the European Commission’s website for additional updates and information.
Written by: Jessie Butchley, Global Immigration Writer, Envoy Global
Source: The European Commission