This information sheet, which is aimed at providing only basic general information about the rights and conditions related to a uniform Schengen visa, mainly addresses Russian citizens. Different terms may apply to the nationals of other countries. For further information on all issues mentioned in this information sheet, please check the websites of the Schengen Member States to which you can travel on the basis of a uniform Schengen visa:
It is an authorisation issued by one of the Member States of the Schengen Area with a view to an intended stay in or transit through the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180- day period from the date of entry in the Schengen Area.
The main legislative act for the adoption of the decisions, connected with the consideration of visa applications, is the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing the EU Visa Agreement and the Agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the facilitation of the issuance of visas to the citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation.
Russian nationals and third-country nationals who are legally present in Russia.
In order to determine which Member State is competent for examining and deciding on an application for a uniform Schengen visa, the following rules apply:
the Member State which is the only destination of the visit(s).
Please ensure that you apply at the competent consulate or you may risk a visa refusal or refusal at the border to enter the Schengen Area.
Applications can be either lodged to an external service provider (i.e. Visa Application Centre agreed by the relevant consulate) or directly at the consulate of the destination country.
Applicants shall pay a visa fee of EUR 35 or the equivalent in Russian roubles, depending on the consulate (Visa fee waivers , art. 16 and art. 17(4) Visa Code).
If the application is submitted within only three days before the decision on the issuance of the visa, a visa fee of EUR 70 or the equivalent in Russian roubles might be charged. The visa fee does not depend on the validity period of the visa.
The visa fee is waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:
members of official delegations who, following an official invitation, participate in meetings,
consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes as well as in events held in one of the Member States by intergovernmental organisations;
children under twelve years;
researchers from third countries travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research;
***as defined in Recommendation No 2005/761/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 September 2005to facilitate the issue by the Member States of uniform short-stay visas for researchers from third countries travelling within the Community for the purpose of carrying out scientific research.
representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars,
conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.
In case of an application within three days before the intended travel, the fee waiver shall only apply to categories b), e) and f).
Please note that some Member States grant additional visa fee waivers for specific categories of applicants.
An additional service fee will be charged by an external service provider (i.e. Visa Application Centre agreed by the relevant consulate).
Applications shall be lodged no more than three months before the start of the intended visit.
Holders of a multiple-entry visa may lodge the application for a new visa before the expiry of the visa valid for a period of at least six months.
It is advisable to lodge an application at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit.
However, it is also recommended that you lodge your visa application taking into account national holidays of the country of destination and Russia. Please note that during holidays the operation of certain consular services may be reduced.
Applicants may be required to obtain an appointment for the lodging of an application.
When an application is admissible, the competent consulate stamps the applicant’s travel document. This stamp indicates the Member State examining the application (e.g. FR), the date of application (e.g. 22.4.2010), the authority examining the visa application (e.g. Consulate of France in Yekaterinburg) and the type of visa (e.g. C). This stamp has no legal implications, and when a visa is issued, the sticker is placed on the page where the stamp has been affixed. Diplomatic and service passports are not stamped.
Please check the harmonised list of supporting documents to be submitted by applicants (link).
Please note that during the examination of an application the consulate may request additional documents.
Please note that during the examination of an application the consulate may call the applicant for an interview.
Applications shall be decided on within 10 calendar days of the date of the lodging of an application which is admissible. That period may be extended up to a maximum of 30 calendar days in individual cases, notably when further scrutiny of the application is needed ( Voluntary use of ESP (principle of direct access), art. 17 (5) and Art. 43(11) Visa Code).
Applicants, whose visa has been refused, are informed by an official refusal letter and they may have the right to appeal in accordance with the national law of the concerned Member State. Appeals should be addressed to the Member State that has taken the final decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State.
Each Member State shall indicate the references to the national law and the procedure relating to the right of appeal, including the competent authority with which an appeal may be lodged, as well as the time limit for lodging such an appeal. You will find this information in the form for notifying and motivating refusal that you will be given for such purpose.
The applicant may also decide to launch a new application, particularly if the reasons for the original refusal do not exist anymore. National legislation or procedures may limit this right while an appeal against the original refusal is pending.
The possession of a Schengen visa does not mean that the holder has an automatic right to enter the Schengen Area as the holder will be subject to checks by border guards at the external border.
At the external border, the visa holder may be requested to produce documents justifying the purpose and conditions of the intended stay and that he/she has sufficient means of subsistence, both for the period of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third state into which they are certain to be admitted, or that he/she is in a position to acquire such means lawfully.
If you are a family member of an EU/EEA or Swiss national you may qualify for an accelerated free visa procedure as long as you meet the following criteria:
The visa should be applied for at the Embassy of the country of future residence of the EU/EEA national or Swiss national, not at the Embassy of his/her country of origin.
If you think you qualify for visa facilitation you will need to show proof that you meet these criteria when you submit your visa application.
Third-country nationals resident in Russia can apply for a Schengen visa in Russia.
Third-country nationals legally present but not residing in Russia can apply for a Schengen visa in Russia if they provide justification for lodging the application in Russia. Nationals of Ukraine, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova shall pay a visa fee of EUR 35. In the case of Norway, this only applies to citizens of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania and the Republic of Moldova. In the case of Switzerland, this only applies to citizens of Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Republic of Moldova. All other third-country nationals shall pay a visa fee of EUR 60.
The visa fee waiver mentioned for categories d) to h) above only applies to nationals of countries which have a visa facilitation agreement with Member States, Norway and Switzerland.
Applications by third-country nationals shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of the lodging of an application which is admissible. That period may be extended up to a maximum of 30 calendar days in individual cases, notably when further scrutiny of the application is needed, and exceptionally, when additional documentation is needed in specific cases, up to a maximum of 60 calendar days.