Switzerland Suspends Visa Facilitation Agreement With Russia

Switzerland Suspends Visa Facilitation Agreement With Russia

The Swiss government has announced the suspension of a visa facilitation agreement with Russia, following a Federal Council decision on 16 September.

All Russian citizens who apply for a Swiss visa will now be subject to the ‘regular rules of the Visa Code’, rather than benefiting from the more lenient terms of the facilitation agreement. 

A Swiss government statement said: “This does not mean a general visa freeze for Russian nationals.”

The Federal Council confirmed that its decision to suspend the agreement was in solidarity with similar steps taken by the European Union (EU) in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“It is in Switzerland’s interest to support a common and harmonised European visa policy. Otherwise, evasive movements could lead to a significant increase in visa applications from Russian nationals to the Swiss representations.”

Statement from the Federal Council

How It Would Affect Russian Travellers

Russian nationals should expect difficulty in obtaining visas when planning to travel to Switzerland and countries in the Schengen Area. 

This means that in line with the newly adopted decision, all Russian citizens applying for a Swiss visa will now have to meet additional criteria, such as presenting further documentary evidence. In addition, they will also have to pay a higher fee and face increased processing times.

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Charlie

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