What is the change? The European Union’s visa information system will be rolled out in Russia in September.

What does the change mean? Russian citizens applying for Schengen visas will be required to submit biometric data, including fingerprints and digital photos.

  • Implementation time frame: Sept. 14.
  • Visas/permits affected: All types of visas for the Schengen area.
  • Who is affected: Russian nationals applying for Schengen visas.
  • Business impact: The system will make Schengen visa issuance more efficient and uniform, but will require an initial appointment for biometric capture.
  • Next steps: Russian applicants should prepare to appear at the appropriate Schengen country’s embassy or consulate as part of their visa application process.

Background: The visa information system unifies visa procedures for Schengen countries and is already in effect for visa applicants at Schengen member countries’ embassies and consulates in much of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In October, it was announced that Russia would be included in the program sometime this year.

BAL Analysis: Russian applicants should plan for the extra step required when applying for Schengen visas.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Russia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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