The European Union will be stricter on entry into Schengen: what changes await the visa system

June 1, 2021
EU residence permit by investment: changes in the Schengen visa information system
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The Council of Europe adopted a regulation on changes to the VIS, or Visa Information System. The purpose of the changes is to prevent illegal migration to EU states. We tell you what changes are waiting for Schengen visa applicants, when they will come into force and how to get a visa in 2021.

The VIS, or Visa Information System, is a unified database of Schengen visa holders and applicants. The system collects information on visas and visa refusals of all Schengen countries. Consulates, police, border guards and Interpol have access to the system.

The EU plans to add VIS to the system:

  1. Data on long-term visas and residence permit cards.

  2. Scanned page with biographic data of travel document – for the Russians it is a biometric passport. We talked about how to get a passport in 2021.

  3. A digital photo of the applicant.

  4. Some European databases.

The procedure for fingerprints will also change: children under 6 years old and adults over 75 will not have to undergo fingerprinting.

EU residence permit: changes in the Schengen visa information system
Example of a Greek Schengen visa. Most often, the visa looks like a sticker in a passport: it indicates the type, validity period, period of stay

The changes are the next step in a plan to tighten controls on entry into the European Union. In 2022, the EU will have a new system of information and entry permits for citizens with visa-free access to EU and Schengen countries, ETIAS. Tourists will have to be checked through the system before entering a country.

For the EU Council Regulation on changes to the VIS to take effect, it must be approved by the EU Parliament and published in the official journal of the Union. The estimated date of entry into force of the changes in late January 2022 or early 2023.

Where Russians are issued a Schengen visa in 2021

With the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, EU states closed borders and restricted the issuance of visas. A foreigner could obtain a visa only for travel for a valid reason – for medical treatment or study.

Visa centers of some countries of the European Union resumed work in Moscow and regions in the spring of 2021: somewhere they issue tourist visas, and somewhere – only visas for work or travel for a good reason, for example, to visit a sick relative.

EU countries that issue a Schengen visa in 2021

Country Types of visa Russian cities with visa centers
Austria Study visa, diplomatic visa, medical visa, visa for family members of Austrians, visa for travel for valid reasons Moscow, Irkutsk, Samara, Saratov, Perm, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, Omsk
Belgium visa for family reunification, marriage, and cohabitation, as well as for business travel Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don
Hungary visa to attend a football match Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saratov, Ufa, Vladivostok
Germany Study visa, visa for those receiving the EU Blue Card Moscow
Greece all types of visas Moscow, Novorossiysk, Pskov, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Arkhangelsk, Krasnodar, Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk
Denmark visas for personal travel for a good reason
Country Types of visa Russian cities with visa centers
Austria Study visa, diplomatic visa, medical visa, visa for family members of Austrians, visa for travel for valid reasons Moscow, Irkutsk, Samara, Saratov, Perm, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, Omsk
Belgium visa for family reunification, marriage, and cohabitation, as well as for business travel Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don
Hungary visa to attend a football match Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saratov, Ufa, Vladivostok
Germany Study visa, visa for those receiving the EU Blue Card Moscow
Greece all types of visas Moscow, Novorossiysk, Pskov, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Arkhangelsk, Krasnodar, Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk
Denmark visas for personal travel for a good reason
Spain Tourist visa for citizens who have held visas for at least one year; study, work, and business trips Moscow
Italy ourist visas that expired between January 2020 and now Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Samara, Yekaterinburgг
Latvia Visas for medical treatment, business trips, and personal trips for a good reason Moscow
Lithuania work visas and for personal trips for a good reason Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad
Malta visas for travel for a good reason Moscow
Netherlands Work visas, visas for family reunification, marriage, and cohabitation in the country, for personal trips for a good reason Moscow
Norway visas for travel in exceptional cases Moscow
Poland visas for study or work, tourist visas for family members of Polish citizens and truck drivers Moscow
Portugal work visas and for travel for a good reason Moscow, St. Petersburg
Romania medical visas and for travel for valid reasons Moscow
Slovakia The study, work, medical visas and for trips for valid reasons, visas for relatives of citizens of Slovakia Moscow, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Kazan, Krasnodar, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov, Voronezh, Khabarovsk
Finland visas for relatives of Finnish citizens, workers, for personal trips for good reasons Moscow and regions
Croatia travel, work, training Moscow and regions
Czech Republic Work visas, medical visas, and visas for trips for valid reasons, visas for relatives of Czech citizens Moscow and regions
Estonia Visas for travel for valid reasons, visas for relatives of Estonian citizens Moscow and regions

The information is current as of June 1, 2021

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, EU states have introduced rules for entering their countries. In June 2021, it is not possible to simply leave one Schengen state and enter another: you must familiarize yourself with the current conditions of entry, which change periodically. For example, holders of a Greek Schengen visa may enter only the territory of Greece. We tell you about the rules of entry to different countries in our weekly digest.

Immigrant Invest does not handle Schengen visas. In order to freely visit the Schengen area, we offer to obtain a residence permit from one of the European Union countries.

How to travel through Schengen without a visa

Residents of EU countries have the right to enter the territory of their state at any time, even during a pandemic. Seven EU countries offer residence permits by investment. The governments of the countries offer different investment options, such as buying real estate or bonds, starting a business, or contributing to scientific activities.

Residence permit by investment for visa-free entry to Schengen

🌎 Status and country 💵 Investments
Residence permit in Austria for financially independent persons From €100,000
Permanent residence in Malta From €112,000
Residence permit in Greece From €250,000
Permanent residence in Cyprus From €300,000
Residence permit in Portugal From €350,000
Swiss residence permit for financially independent persons From ₣450,000
Residence permit in Spain From €500,000

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the European residence permit by investment programs. If you want to become a resident of the European Union and travel freely through the Schengen countries, seek advice from the experts of the investment programs.

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