According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, from next month, visa application centres of Finland in Russia will be open to accepting applications from business customers and all other applicants whose multiple-entry Schengen Visa, which has been issued by Finland for at least two years, has expired.
Applications for other special customer groups that have been approved so far will also continue to be accepted by visa centres of Finland. As such, all persons who wish to file a new visa application are required to book an appointment, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Despite strengthening the capacity of visa reception, the same Ministry has emphasised that the current entry restrictions that Finland had imposed against arrivals from other countries will continue to remain in place since no decision has been made regarding their relaxation.
Apart from that, all those who will apply for a visa are required to sign a document indicating that they understand Finland’s entry conditions. In addition, by signing such a document, applicants also agree to comprehend that even if they successfully obtain a visa, they may be refused entry to Finland, depending on the measures that Finland has at the time they travel.
“Decisions have not been made that would change the entry restrictions. All visa applicants must sign a document in which they undertake to ensure that they meet the conditions for entry and understand that a visa that has been issued does not guarantee entry in Finland,” the statement of the Finnish Ministry of Interior reads.
The Ministry has estimated that more than half a million Schengen visas issued in Russia by Finland have expired during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, by reinforcing the capacity to receive visa applications in Russia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland wants to assist persons whose visa has expired during this period and provide them with the opportunity to renew their visas.
“This is also intended to prevent backlogs of applications caused by possible changes in border traffic restrictions,” the Ministry added.
During the pre-pandemic period, before the COVID-19 spread, Finland granted most Schengen visas in Russia and was among the most popular destinations. As for 2019, Finland issued 790,000 visas in Russia, and in the same year, 3.7 million visits from Russians were made in Finland.
>> 84% Drop In the Number of Schengen Visa Applications Filed in Russia Due to COVID-19