The European Council has moved to fully suspend the visa facilitation agreement between the European Union and Russia.

Key Points:

  • As of today, Russian nationals are no longer eligible for Schengen Area short-stay visas through the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement.
  • The suspension of the agreement does not fully prohibit short-term travel to the Schengen Area by Russian nationals, but it will have the following impacts:
    • Short-stay visa application fees for Russian nationals will increase from 35€ to 80€.
    • Authorities will have 15 days instead of 10 to process short-stay visa applications from Russian nationals. The timeframe can be extended an additional 45 days as needed.
    • Russian nationals may be required to provide additional documentation when applying for short-stay visas.

Background: The EU and Russia entered into the visa facilitation agreement in June 2007. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, the EU enacted a partial suspension of the agreement for diplomats, Russian officials and some business people. At an Aug. 31 meeting, EU foreign affairs ministers agreed to fully suspend the visa facilitation agreement. The European Council adopted the measure last week and said it would provide additional guidelines to ensure the suspension does not negatively impact people, including journalists, civil society representatives and those traveling for essential purposes.

BAL Analysis: Russian nationals should expect continued difficulty in obtaining visas for travel to Europe. Many countries had already imposed restrictions on visa processing and the full suspension of the visa facilitation agreement will likely make it even more difficult to obtain Schengen Visas. Employers should plan travel well in advance to avoid complications and delays. BAL will continue to follow this issue and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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