Visa applications by Russians up nearly 60 per cent
A total of 827,475 Schengen visa applications to visit Finland were submitted in 2017, resulting in 816,796 issued visas. In 2017, Russians submitted 60% more visa applications to Finland than in 2016. The number of visa applications made in Asian countries was also up.
Russians lodged by far the greatest number of visa application to visit Finland in 2017, accounting for 88% of all visa applications to Finland. Finland issued a total of 727,224 visas in Russia, compared 89,572 visas issued in other countries combined.
Russians like to travel short distances and come to Finland on shopping trips, for example. They submitted a total of 464,899 visa applications in 2016 and 729,961 in 2017. The peak year was 2013, when Finnish diplomatic missions in Russia received a total of 1.5 million visa applications.
Finland’s Consulate General in St. Petersburg processes most applications; 81% of the Schengen visas issued by Finland in 2017 were applied in St. Petersburg. Altogether 589,476 visas were issued in St. Petersburg in 2017, compared to 352,676 in 2016. The Consulate General in St. Petersburg also represents Austria in visa matters.
Finland’s Embassy in Moscow issued 69,426 visas in 2017 (63,314 in 2016), accounting for 9.7% of all visas issued in Russia.
Finland’s office in Petrozavodsk issued 40,805 visas in 2017 (24,953 in 2016), which was 5.69% of all Schengen visas issued to Finland. The Petrozavodsk office handles visa matters in the Republic of Karelia, representing also Sweden and the Netherlands.
Finland’s office in Murmansk issued 27,517 visas in 2017 (15,643 in 2016), accounting for 3.67% of all Schengen visas issued by Finland in Russia. The Murmansk office grants visas to residents in the Murmansk area, representing also Iceland in visa matters.
Growth in Asia
The number of visa applications to visit Finland was up in many Asian countries in 2017.
Finland’s Embassy in Beijing, for example, had a growth rate of 33%. In 2017, it issued 21,317 Schengen visas, compared to 16,325 in 2016.
Finland has outsourced visa services in Russia so that nearly all visa applications are
submitted to visa centres operated by an external actor, VFS Global. Visa services have been outsourced even elsewhere. In 2017, they were outsourced in Algeria, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kosovo, Indonesia, Iran, Morocco and Vietnam.
Inquiries: Virpi Kankare, Counsellor, tel. +358 295 351 772,
The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@example.org.