Where is it faster and easier for Russians to get a European visa

Summer is in full swing, and the demand for European holidays, despite all the difficulties, remains attractive for Russians. Where and how you can quickly get a Schengen visa, and how long it will take, suggests GreekReporter.

The main difficulty for those wishing to obtain a visa is to make an appointment. The best thing to do with a visa is Greece. The Global Visa Center World said that you can get an appointment in about a week, and the application will take from 2 to 30 days. However, there is a condition – Greece issues a visa only for travel dates. For those who want to get a long-term multivisa, it is better to use the services of the Spanish, French and Italian representations – they issue it more often than other Schengen countries.

At the consulate Francefor example, as correspondents were told GreekReporter at the VFS Global visa support center, the application is processed in just seven days. But the next entry is on the date only in two weeks. However, on the forums of travelers, Russians complain that they have not been able to sign up for 1.5 months, and the registration itself opens once a month. The increased demand is explained simply: France requires a “simplified” package of documents, for example, without an extract from a bank account on the movement of funds for three months.

AT Italian The embassy was informed that their consulates in Moscow and St. Petersburg issue Schengen visas without restrictions. But the lack of staff, which arose after the mutual expulsion of diplomats, slows down the process of registration. The application is considered 1-2 weeks. Another difficulty is the payment of consular fees through Intesa Bank, a branch of the Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo, due to which the process of accepting documents was practically stopped. But for now, the issue has been resolved.

At the consulate Spain The number of visa applicants has increased significantly, you will have to be patient. There are no entries for June-July. The consulate complains about the lack of staff and admitted that the approval of documents received from the visa center can take from 10 to 45 days.

AT Austrian The embassy was informed that free slots for recording are available in three weeks, the review takes 15 days. The visa center clarified: it may turn out faster, or it may take up to 30 days.

But at the consulate Finland the ban on the issuance of tourist visas due to the pandemic is still in effect. With some exceptions – for those whose previously issued 2-year visa expired during the pandemic. They will accept documents and, as they promise, they will consider them in two weeks. To be admitted, applicants need to apply with a request by e-mail.

Where exactly you can’t get a Schengen visa now is at the embassies Latvia, Denmark, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Estonia – They stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens.

For those who are in a hurry, you can apply for a national visa at the embassies of non-Schengen countries: Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia. Obtaining a visa for Bulgaria, for example, takes only 3-4 days. But even here there are some difficulties – there were temporary problems with paying the consular fee, so those who are exempt from it will quickly succeed. Among the “lucky ones” are junior athletes taking part in competitions, persons with disabilities and children. Did you know that with a Bulgarian visa you can visit Croatia, Romania and Cyprus?

Embassy Cyprus, in turn, reports that due to the suspension of direct flights with Russia, the consulates of the republic temporarily do not issue pro-visas (those that were issued upon arrival on the island), but it is possible to issue a national one. For Russian citizens, this is done free of charge. Visa processing centers assured that the process would take only a few days.

But in Montenegro you can travel without a visa. The “innovation” of this tourist season is the period of stay in the country without a visa reduced from 90 days to 30. Similar conditions for tourists in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia. But there is good news – if you leave one country for another before the expiration of the 30-day period, then the countdown is reset to zero.

And some statistics. In 2021, 514,000 visas to the Schengen countries were issued to Russian citizens. The share of refusals was 3.2% (16.8 thousand applications). In comparison with 2019 (1.5% of refusals) and 2020 (2.6% of refusals), this figure is growing, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia ATOR notes. However, European countries began to issue multiple-entry visas more often – 88% of applicants received them. The top 5 countries in which our compatriots applied for a visa included Greece, Spain, Italy, Finland, Hungary. And yet, as ATOR predicts, in 2022 the situation with the processing of documents for entry into the Schengen zone is unlikely to improve, writes GreekReporter.

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