Despite the lack of direct rail and air links between Russia and Finland, this year the consulate of the Nordic countries in St. Petersburg recorded an explosive growth in visa applications. In total, more than 50,000 applications were submitted.
According to the Finnish side, the number of applications from Russians has been growing since October last year, when covid restrictions were lifted, and it became possible to apply for visas for more compatriots, Schengen Visa Info reported .
By the way, Finland officially announced that from Friday, July 1, it will begin admitting Russian tourists to the territory of its country through the three largest checkpoints on the border with Russia – details here.
The most popular visa applications in June and July were tourist visas. Their number has increased by 10% in this particular time period. As the consulate explained, it is not entirely correct to attribute the sharp increase in the number of visa applications to the canceled covid measures, since a slight increase in applications was expected without them.
Visa applications are submitted to the Finland Visa Application Center in St. Petersburg, which is currently open by appointment only. The next available visa appointments at this consulate will take place in August, with the main goal of the body is to complete the processing of applications within ten days.
By the way, it was previously reported how long it actually takes to process a Finnish visa, what is the risk of being refused and what are the most common mistakes tourists make when submitting documents. Read the details in the article “The Russians were told how to get a Finnish visa in St. Petersburg now.”
On the other hand, Finland reported that business tourism has declined. So, on Finnish farms, especially berry farms, there is a decrease in the number of seasonal employees, which is directly related to geopolitical events. According to the Finnish Immigration Service, 13,870 seasonal work certificates were issued last year, of which 95.7% or 13,287 employees were from Ukraine. However, this year, these figures are much lower – only 4.456, which corresponds to a decrease of 211%.
“The number of applications submitted was less than a third compared to last year. The start of the special operation obviously affects the number of seasonal employees, since most of them are Ukrainians,” said Paulina Helminen, director of the permits and citizenship department.
Moreover, the number of residence permits issued to seasonal employees is also decreasing . Seasonal work permits for a period of 3 to 6 months were issued to 692 people during the first half of the year, while in 2021 their number was 1,619 people. Another 262 permits were issued for periods ranging from 6 to 9 months, almost half as many as 403 in 2021.
Finnish data also showed that those who want to wait out geopolitical turmoil are applying for visas: 20.153 people of working age applied for a visa. At the same time, 75% of applicants are women of working age.
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