The military invasion of Ukraine has had an impact on Russian nationals and how they travel, as the majority of European countries and authorities have placed tough restrictions.
These measures have curtailed Russian passport holders' ability to travel; these are the current entry restrictions imposed on Russian tourists in 2023.
As of August 24, 2022, Russian citizens can apply for visas for longer stays using VFS, whereas short-term Schengen Visa applications have been stopped.
Bulgarian authorities banned short-term (type C) visa issuing on September 20, 2022, and it has not been updated since.
The Czech Republic
Czech officials have declared that Russian citizens would be unable to obtain a visa or a residence permit in the Czech Republic for another year beginning April 3, 2023. The present ban on visas and residency permits provided to Russian and Belarus passport holders would be extended until March 31, 2024, according to them.
The restriction, however, exempts certain categories, including Russian and Belarusian nationals of EU nationals who are Czech residents, allowing them to extend or renew their residence permits or long-term visas.
The EU country has paused the visa facilitation agreement with Russia until September 13, 2022, and has moved Russian passport holders to category 5, which represents citizens of Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, and Syria who are considered at higher risk of illegal migration, making these nationals subject to more stringent visa issuance policies.
Since the Danish Embassy in Moscow closed its doors on October 5, 2022, visa and resident permit applicants have had to apply for Danish visas elsewhere. The limits were tightened even further in 2023, when Russia was withdrawn off the AGH list, depriving Russian people of the right to apply for Danish asylum in preference over other immigration applicants.
Estonian authorities imposed some of the most draconian restrictions on Russian nationals, prohibiting people travelling for business or tourism with short-term Schengen permits issued by Estonia from entering the EU. The law will remain in effect until August 11, 2022.
Later, on August 17, 2022, only students from Russia pursuing an education in Estonian universities were eligible to seek for a one-year renewal of their residence permit.
While there were some exceptions for Russian nationals visiting family members in Estonia or those entering the country for humanitarian reasons, on September 8, 2022, the Estonian government barred Russian citizens with Schengen visas issued by other countries from entering the country, a move that was later adopted by the two other Baltic countries, Latvia and Lithuania, on September 19, 2022.
According to the most recent update on April 17, 2023, Estonian authorities have suspended the issuing of digital nomad visas to Russian and Belarussian individuals.
As a first step, the authorities reduced the number of tourist visa filing appointments for Russian people. As of August 30, 2022, Russian citizens had 100 fewer appointments available for tourist visa applications, down from 200, and 400 fewer appointments available for job, study, or family purposes, down from 800.
Since October 3, 2022, Finnish authorities have prohibited Russian residents with Schengen visas from entering the country for transit or tourist, with certain exceptions for Russian citizens with residence cards provided by Finland, the EU, or Switzerland.
Since September 12, 2022, when the European country stopped its visa facilitation agreement with Russia, Russian citizens asking for a short-stay visa have been taxed twice the amount for their application fee.
They must pay €80 instead of €35, and the waiting time for their applications has been raised from 15 to 45 days.
Ireland has exempted Russian and Belarussian nationals from the facilitation agreements that went into effect on October 26, 2022, requiring them to present a visa for short stays in Ireland regardless of whether they have a valid UK short-term visa.
As of August 5, 2022, the authorities ceased accepting visa applications and refused to issue new or extend current residence permits. On August 10, 2022, Latvian border guards began interviewing Belarus and Russian citizens on an individual basis, and since September 7, 2022, extensive background checks and additional documents have been required of Russian and Belarussian citizens who are eligible to apply for residence permits. Furthermore, Russian citizens' applications are now subject to lengthy processing durations.
As of September 19, 2022, Latvian authorities have refused admission to Russian citizens holding residency permits issued by Schengen and EU nations, as well as those holding long-term visas, short-term visas, and those wishing to visit family members in the EU. Transport and diplomatic staff visas, as well as transit document holders from Kaliningrad for humanitarian reasons, are also barred from entering Latvia.
Furthermore, effective of September 26, 2022, Russian citizens will be unable to obtain a long-term visa or a Digital Nomad Visa. The investment-related residence permit has also been halted for Russian and Belarussian residents starting November 21, 2022, and as of December 15, Russian citizens' entitlement to prolong their permanent residence status in Latvia has been removed.
Russian citizens are not authorised to enter Lithuania as of September 20, 2022, with the exception of persons in the following categories:
Russian citizens of Lithuanian ancestry and their immediate family members
Candidates for regaining Lithuanian citizenship, as well as their immediate family members
Holders of a residence permit issued by Lithuania or another EU or Schengen nation
Long-term visa holders from Schengen nations
Holders of Kaliningrad transit tickets
Short-term Schengen visa holders and those seeking entrance as a family member of a Lithuanian/EU/EEA/Swiss citizen
Those in need of transportation, diplomatic personnel, or humanitarian assistance.
The Dutch government has ceased issuing short-term visas at their embassy in Moscow as of April 27, 2022.
The government has stopped its visa facilitation agreement with Russia, and Russian citizens requesting for a short-stay visa would face increased application fees and processing times ranging from 15 to 34 days, as in France. Furthermore, multiple-entry visas for Russian citizens are no longer available.
The Polish government has restricted admission for Russian passport holders to those who have a Polush Residence Permit visa, and Russian citizens will no longer be able to file new Special Permission applications after April 5, 2023.
Tourist and business visas are not currently given by the Romanian consulates in Moscow.
As of March 15, 2022, the Spanish government has halted visa and permission applications from Russian entrepreneurs, investors, and economic initiatives.
By fLEXI tEAM