EU Adopts Full Suspension of Visa Facilitation Agreement With Russia

EU Adopts Full Suspension of Visa Facilitation Agreement With Russia

The Council of the European Union  has adopted a decision that fully suspends the visa facilitation agreement between the European Union and Russia.

As a result, the general rules of the visa code will now apply to all citizens of Russia.

The new rules for Russian citizens will take effect on 12 September 2022. 

Commenting on the adopted decision, the Czech Minister of Interior, Vít Rakušan, said that this is a direct consequence of the actions of Russia and further proof of the EU’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine and its people.

“A visa facilitation agreement allows privileged access to the EU for citizens of trusted partners with whom we share common values. With its unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression, including its indiscriminate attacks against civilians, Russia has broken this trust and trampled on the fundamental values of our international community,”

Czech Minister of Interior, Vít Rakušan

The Council’s adoption of this decision follows the proposal made by the EU Commission. The EU Commission proposed earlier this week the full suspension of the Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia as part of the sanctions imposed on the latter due to the military invasion of Ukraine.

Key Changes For Visa Applications

Due to the new decision, the following will rules will be implemented

  • Visa application fees will increase from €35 to €80.
  • Russian nationals will have to submit additional documentary evidence for their application.
  • Processing times will increase from 10-15 days to 45 days.
  • There will be more restrictive guidance for multiple-entry visas.

While the EU has only decided to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia, the four European countries that border Russia – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – have agreed to stop issuing Schengen visas to nationals of Russia from 19 September. In addition, they have also agreed to ban Russians from entering the country.

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