According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, British officials are delaying the processing of visa applications from Russians. Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs complained about the inability to pay visa fees with cards of Russian banks =”The Foreign Ministry recommended that Russians refuse to travel and visas to Britain” />
The Russian Foreign Ministry recommended that Russians refrain from traveling to the UK and issuing British visas. This is stated in the message of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
«Until the normalization of the situation, we will act in the same way with respect to the British»,— the message says.
The ministry explained that they made such a recommendation because of the “unfriendly course of the UK towards our country”, and also in order to avoid “possible problems”. The report also says that recently the Foreign Ministry has been receiving “numerous complaints from Russian citizens that it has become virtually impossible or extremely difficult for them to obtain a visa to the UK,” and this applies to both tourist visas and visas for traveling abroad. work or reunion with relatives.
The Foreign Ministry reports that it has reported problems to the British Embassy in Moscow and demanded “clear clarifications” from it. The diplomatic mission, according to the Foreign Ministry, replied that at present the UK visa service gives priority to the processing of visa applications for Ukrainian refugees, which is why the consideration of applications for British visas of Russians is significantly delayed.
“The situation is aggravated by the aspect associated with the obligatory prepayment of the consular fee by bank transfer after filling out the electronic questionnaire. Taking into account the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by London, it will not be possible to pay with Visa or Mastercard cards of the Russian issuing bank, since this must be done on the British website,— notes the Russian ministry, calling the position of British officials “a politicized infringement of the rights of Russian citizens.”
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The British Embassy in Russia on February 14 reported on its Telegram channel about “extremely high demand” for on all types of British visas, which the mission explained by the mitigation of the “coronavirus” rules for entering the UK, including the lifting of mandatory self-isolation upon arrival. The embassy recommended that Russians plan their trips in advance and reminded that a visa application can be submitted three months before the trip.
After the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, the British authorities announced the launch of the Ukraine Family Scheme program, which simplifies the reunification of Ukrainian citizens with relatives in Britain. The British Embassy in Moscow reports that, as of May 11, more than 104,000 visas were issued to refugees from Ukraine under this program.
The international payment systems Visa and Mastercard on March 6 announced their decision to suspend work in Russia . This affected the cards of all Russian banks, and not just those that are under sanctions. You can make payments with Russian cards within Russia and on Russian websites— their work is provided by the National Payment Card System.
Britain did not impose visa restrictions against Russians and companies not on the sanctions list. Also, Britain did not expel Russian diplomats after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, despite numerous expulsions of employees of Russian embassies from European countries and the introduction of visa restrictions by some EU countries.
On February 24, Latvia announced that it would stop issuing visas to Russians and recall the ambassador for consultations. The same step was announced in the Czech Republic. Belgian Refugee Minister Sammy Mahdi suggested that EU members stop issuing any Schengen visas to Russians, but this was not done. This idea was supported by Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki.
At the same time, on February 28, the European Union partially suspended the simplified visa regime with Russia. It was a short-term visa with the right to stay no more than 90 days within 180 days. But the decision concerned only members of official delegations, the government and parliament, the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, holders of diplomatic passports, as well as entrepreneurs. Russia adopted mirror measures on April 4.
In early March, Norwegian visa application centers in Russia stopped accepting applications for a Schengen visa or residence permit due to “technical problems, including payment on the Norwegian portal, and other unforeseen restrictions related to the current situation. On April 4, the centers resumed work.
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