Norway suspends visa agreement with Russia
Norway's facilitation agreement for visas with Russia has been halted, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration has announced.
A visa agreement for travel between Norway and Russia has been suspended as of September 22nd, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) writes on its site.
The UDI writes that the typical rules for applying for a visa to enter Norway will now apply to Russian citizens. The visa agreement that has been suspended dates back to 2008.
This means that the documentation required to apply will be tightened, multiple-entry visas won't be issued as part of one application, processing times will go up, and fees will also increase.
Norwegian newspaper VG reports that this is among a string of measures the UDI has taken to tighten the rules for obtaining a visa as a Russian citizen.
Norway's immigration directorate told VG that tourist visas and those to visit friends would be rejected in most cases. Visa applications are being rejected as there are doubts over whether the applicant would return to Russia upon the visa's expiration.
In August, the UDI processed 575 visa applications from Russian citizens. Around 41 percent of applications were refused. Earlier this year, Russian citizens were moved to the orange visa group.
"In the orange group, parents, children, and spouses will generally receive visas, while it is more natural to refuse applications for siblings, distant relatives and boyfriends. It will also be more difficult, but not impossible, to get a visa for business trips and visits with a cultural purpose," Håvard Sætre from the UDI stated.
Last week, a number of EU countries tightened their visa rules for Russians. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are among the countries tightening rules.
Russians are still able to apply for asylum in Norway. However, to apply, they will need to physically reach Norway first. In 2022, 219 Russian citizens have applied for asylum in Norway.