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Russian applicants for French and UE visas: new rules and recommendations

Russian applicants for French and UE visas: new rules and recommendations

The Commission has published its guidelines to help member states’ consulates process short-stay visa applications from Russian citizens.

Given the increased security risks facing the EU as a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, European consulates should conduct a strict security risk assessment.

This assessment could lead to visa denials as well as the revocation of valid visas.

Russian applicants traveling for non-essential reasons will also have to follow a longer and more thorough procedure to submit their applications: this is the case for applicants for long-stay visas for France as long-term visitors (VLS TS).

The EU confirms that it remains open to Russian visa applicants traveling for essential purposes, including family members of EU citizens, journalists, dissidents and civil society representatives.

Consulates are thus invited to adapt their procedures for processing short-stay visa applications lodged in Russia by making full use of the options contained in the EU visa rules in order to ensure better control of applications.

In summary, the Commission recommends that the European consular services follow the following guidelines:

  • Give less priority to applicants who do not have an essential reason to travel (e.g. tourists) when allocating appointments
  • To take up to 45 days to decide on visa applications (compared to 15 days in ordinary cases) in order to ensure a more thorough control of Russian applications
  • Requesting additional supporting documents to those on the standard list, “in order to ensure a high level of control, especially in the case of possible threats to public order and international relations”;
  • Exercise greater control when checking whether Russian citizens applying for a short-stay visa could be considered a threat to public order, internal security or the international relations of any of the Member States;
  • To refuse a visa if there is any doubt about the applicant’s willingness to leave the territory of the EU when the visa expires; – to take a “strict approach” when reviewing valid short-stay visas already issued to Russian citizens;
  • Not issuing multiple-entry visas with a long validity period, “as Russian citizens may not meet the conditions for entry into the EU in the long term.

Our team of immigration advisors is available to assist you and answer your questions.


LexCase Immigration, France, Russia, Visas

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