The Russian Union of Travel Industry (RST) indicates that the process of applying for Schengen Visas has become more streamlined for Russian citizens, with specific countries offering enhanced convenience in terms of quicker processing times and higher issuance rates. Switzerland, according to RST, emerges as the frontrunner in expeditious visa processing, with an average issuance period of just two weeks, albeit with the requirement of proof of hotel payment. Switzerland holds the seventh position in terms of the highest number of visas issued to Russian passport holders in 2023.
Italy and Spain are singled out as exceptionally accommodating destinations for Russian tourists. Spain has addressed previous appointment issues, and the waiting period for visa decisions at the Spanish consulate in Russia ranges from four to six weeks. Statistics reveal that Spanish authorities granted one-fourth of Schengen visas obtained by Russian passport holders in 2022.
Italy, renowned for its cultural and historical attractions, processes visa decisions within a timeframe of 30 to 45 days. The validity of Italian visas varies between three to six months, occasionally extending to one year. In 2023, the Italian visa claimed the third spot in terms of demand among Russian applicants.
France is acknowledged for its generous visa validity, extending up to five years, coupled with an efficient processing time of two and a half weeks. Despite challenges in securing appointments, French consulates received 11% of visa applications in Russia in 2023, positioning it as the second most sought-after consulate after China.
Hungary stands out for its loyalty, with 70% of tourists from a specific operator receiving multiple-entry visas. Greece adopts a distinct approach, issuing visas specifically for the intended trip dates. Croatia, although experiencing a longer processing time of up to two months, exhibits lower demand since joining the Schengen zone in 2023.
These nuanced insights paint a comprehensive picture of Schengen Visa trends for Russian nationals, offering a detailed understanding of varying processing times, issuance rates, and the preferences of travelers among different European countries.
By fLEXI tEAM