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Finland is limiting the number of visa application appointments available in Russia. Photo by mohamed_hassan on Pixabay

Helsinki, 17 August 2022

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is limiting the number of visa application appointments available in Russia each day to half of normal. On 16 August 2022, the Government discussed the restriction of tourism from Russia and adopted a policy on the matter.

At the moment, there are an average of 1,000 application appointments available in Russia each day. From the beginning of September, the number of available appointments will be limited to 500 a day. In addition, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is setting quotas for visa application appointments. Twenty per cent of all appointments will be reserved for tourists and eighty per cent for people travelling for reasons other than tourism. Such other reasons include family ties, work and study.

This means that there will be an average of 100 appointments per day available for people applying for a visa for tourism, which is ten per cent of the current number. There will be an average of 400 appointments per day available for people applying for a visa for reasons other than tourism. The quotas will be changed if necessary to ensure the functioning of the system and prevent abuse.

Finland seeking common EU policy

Finland also supports efforts to reach a common EU policy with respect to the restriction of visas for Russians. Finland is in favour of the complete suspension of the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia, which would increase the visa application fee from EUR 35 to EUR 80.

The Government also outlined policies for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to begin drafting of a proposal for a national humanitarian visa and to launch a review of national sanctions legislation.

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