On 9 September 2022 the Council of the European Union adopted Decision No. 2022/1500 on the suspension of the Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia.
The Agreement, which has been in place since 2007, allowed Russian citizens to obtain long-term multiple-entry tourist and business visas for the Schengen Area with less burdensome supporting document requirements, shorter waiting times and lower fees. The Agreement applied to short-term trips (total stays of up to 90 days out of every 180 days).
Under the Decision, the EU suspends the application of the Visa Facilitation Agreement between Russia and the EU. Instead, Russian citizens will be subject to the general rules of the EU Visa Code.
This Decision gives rise to the following changes for citizens of Russia:
- The visa fee rised from 35 to 80 euros
- The time taken to consider a visa application increased from 10 to 15 days (up to 45 days in certain cases)
- The list of required documents increased
- It will be harder to obtain a long-term multiple-entry visa.
The Decision has come into effect on 12 September 2022.
Updated requirements for documents needed to obtain Schengen visas will be provided by the competent authorities at a later date.
Some member states of the European Union may impose their own additional restrictions.Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Estonia
have jointly decided to restrict Russian citizens from entering their countries across the external border of the European Union under many types of existing Schengen visas, including tourist and business visas, and have stopped issuing new Schengen visas to Russian citizens. Those restrictions come into effect on 19 September 2022.Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Slovakia and the Czech Republic
have already suspended the acceptance of short-term visa applications from Russian citizens, including for tourist and business visas.
The Russian Federation is continuing to apply the Visa Facilitation Agreement in relation to EU citizens, but retaliatory measures are possible.
B1 is continuing to monitor the situation and will keep you informed of any new developments in the law.