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Latest News
05 August, 2021

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

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.

EU residence permit by investment: changes in the Schengen visa information system
Photo: Adobe Stock

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

CountryTypes of visaRussian cities with visa centers
AustriaStudy visa, diplomatic visa, medical visa, visa for family members of Austrians, visa for travel for valid reasons

VFS Global visa centres accept applications for tourist visas
Moscow, Irkutsk, Samara, Saratov, Perm, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, Omsk
BelgiumVisa for family reunification, marriage, and cohabitation, as well as for business travelMoscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don
HungaryAll types of visasMoscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saratov, Ufa, Vladivostok
GermanyStudy visa, visa for those receiving the EU Blue CardMoscow
GreeceAll types of visasMoscow, Novorossiysk, Pskov, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Arkhangelsk, Krasnodar, Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk
DenmarkVisas for personal travel for a good reason 
SpainTourist visa for citizens who have held visas for at least one year; study, work, and business tripsMoscow
ItalyTourist visas that expired between January 2020 and nowMoscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Samara, Yekaterinburgг
LatviaVisas for medical treatment, business trips, and personal trips for a good reasonMoscow
LithuaniaWork visas and for personal trips for a good reasonMoscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad
MaltaVisas for travel for a good reasonMoscow
NetherlandsWork visas, visas for family reunification, marriage, and cohabitation in the country, for personal trips for a good reasonMoscow
NorwayVisas for travel in exceptional casesMoscow
PolandVisas for study or work, tourist visas for family members of Polish citizens and truck driversMoscow
PortugalWork visas and for travel for a good reasonMoscow, St. Petersburg
SlovakiaThe study, work, medical visas and for trips for valid reasons, visas for relatives of citizens of SlovakiaMoscow, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Kazan, Krasnodar, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov, Voronezh, Khabarovsk
FinlandVisas for relatives of Finnish citizens, workers, for personal trips for good reasonsMoscow and regions
CroatiaTravel, work, trainingMoscow and regions
Czech RepublicWork visas, medical visas, and visas for trips for valid reasons, visas for relatives of Czech citizensMoscow and regions
EstoniaVisas for travel for valid reasons, visas for relatives of Estonian citizensMoscow 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 personsFrom €100,000
Permanent residence in MaltaFrom €112,000
Residence permit in GreeceFrom €250,000
Permanent residence in CyprusFrom €300,000
Residence permit in PortugalFrom €350,000
Swiss residence permit for financially independent personsFrom ₣450,000
Residence permit in SpainFrom €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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The European Union will be stricter on entry into Schengen: what changes await the visa system