These centers will begin their work this year according to the following schedule: from May 30 – in Vladimir, Tula, Ivanovo, Kaluga; from June 6 – in Volgograd, Belgorod, Saransk, Ryazan, Tomsk, Kursk; from June 13 – in Tyumen, Surgut, Sochi, Lipetsk, Izhevsk and Ulyanovsk. The application and passport issuance points are located at the Joint Visa Application Center of VFS Global operator. Documents are accepted both from individual applicants and from accredited travel agencies. Applications submitted to the visa centers of these cities are considered by the Embassy of Finland in Moscow. By opening new visa centers, the Embassy of Finland expands access to visa services in the regions, and also responds to the growing interest of the Russians to travel to Finland.
Previously, Schengen visa could be issued to visit Finland in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vyborg, Kazan, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Omsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Ufa, Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Irkutsk and Kaliningrad.
According to the consular services of Finland, in 2018 about 665 000 visas were issued in Russia, of which the majority number (540 000) for residents of St. Petersburg, and 99.6% of them were multiple-entry. At the same time, the total number of Finnish visas has decreased by 8% compared to 2017.
The reduction in the number of visas issued by Finland in St. Petersburg and in Russia began as a whole after the events in Crimea. In 2014, 10% fewer Finnish visas were issued, in 2015 their number decreased by 38%, in 2016 it decreased by another 35%. That is, in general, the volume of visas issued during this period decreased by half.