To get a Schengen visa, Russians will need to provide biometric information

Citizens of the Russian Federation applying for visas to European Union countries will need to provide biometric information in the future

In spite of the fact that in accordance with the EU Visa Code that went into effect on 5 April 2010, everyone applying for a Schengen visa must go through the procedure of submitting biometric data, this innovation has yet to be applied in Russia as well as a few other countries (Ukraine, Belarus).   A gradual transition to the new system of turning in biometric information for visa applications is envisioned for citizens of those countries.  Initially it was presumed that the Moscow consulates of European countries would start accepting biometric information in 2013, but now they’re talking about the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015.

Lately, both the Russian and the European media have discussed the likelihood of the forthcoming implementation of this procedure; however, concrete dates have not been discussed.  The lack of official information about this question gives rise to serious concerns for those in the Russian tourism industry as well as for everyday Russian citizens traveling to European Union countries.  It is well known that, currently, every visa applicant has to submit biometric information only for their first Schengen visa application.  Biometric data is stored for about five years and is copied for subsequent applications.  So far, official sources have not made  more detailed information known.  It is presumed that the schedule for the transition to collecting biometric information will be made known after the head of the European Union delegation to Russia, Vygaudas Ušackas, answers a letter from the Russian Association of Tour Operators sent to him with a request to provide the necessary clarifications.