Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russians Applying for Schengen Visas Required to Give Fingerprints

Russians were granted more than 5.76 million Schengen visas in 2014, about a third of all Schengen visas issued worldwide.

Russians applying for Schengen visas are required to give their fingerprints as of Monday, the RBC news agency reported. Once recorded, fingerprints will be stored for five years.

Children under the age of 12 and disabled people with no fingers are exempt from the requirement, along with government leaders and members of official government delegations, the report said. The costs of Schengen visas, which allow holders to visit any country in Europe's 26-state Schengen Area, will remain the same.

The measure has already been implemented for several Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries. Fingerprints are also required from applicants in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported in July.

Russian tourist organizations worry that the new rules will create obstacles for residents of remote regions of the country who will have to travel to visa centers to provide their fingerprints, and will cause a further decrease in the number of tourists traveling to Europe.

“We fear that demand for trips to Europe will decrease by 30 percent, while the overall number of tourists going abroad has dropped by 50 percent [since the start of the economic crisis],” Irina Tyurina, spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Industry Union, was cited by the Vesti FM radio station as saying Monday.

Russians were granted more than 5.76 million Schengen visas in 2014, about a third of all Schengen visas issued worldwide, RBC reported, citing European Union data.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more