Despite security concerns as well as the restrictions imposed by several European Union member states, it has been revealed that Germany has issued tens of thousands of visas to citizens of Russia since February 2022.
According to Welt, Germany applies less restrictive rules when it comes to issuing visas and residence permits to Russian citizens, with the German consulates granting almost 32,000 national visas since February of last year, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The national visas were granted to citizens of Russia who primarily entered the territory of Germany on a regular Schengen visa that is valid for a period of 90 days. Once such a period was over, Russians applied for a national visa that permitted them to remain in the country for a longer period and get a job.
In addition to the above-mentioned, it has been revealed that the number of regular Schengen visas issued to citizens of Russia since February 2022 was almost double the number of national visas.
Data provided by Welt show that Germany granted over 51,000 Schengen visas to citizens of Russia. On the basis of this visa, Russian citizens can enter Germany as well as all the other countries that are part of the Schengen Area.
Nonetheless, since this visa is valid only valid for a short period of time, it is believed that all those who did not apply for a national visa have already returned to Russia.
Apart from issuing national and regular Schengen visas, data show that Germany has also issued humanitarian visas to Russians.
As Welt reveals, Germany has issued around 1,665 humanitarian visas to citizens of Russia since February 2022. This type of visa was mainly issued to journalists, human rights lawyers, and people who publicly opposed the aggression against Ukraine, among others.
Russians obtained a high number of visas in other Schengen countries, too, despite security concerns.
Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that Russians obtained more than 600,000 Schengen vias in 2022.
Data from Schengen Visa Statistics show that Finland, Spain, and Italy issued the highest number of visas to Russians in 2022. They accounted for 60 per cent of all visas issued to citizens of Russia.
Finland granted 105,323 visas, Spain granted 154,450 visas, and Italy granted 103,099 visas.
Other countries such as Greece (61,840), France (55,285), Germany (38,809), and Hungary (25,081) also granted a high number of visas to Russians last year.
As for the number of rejections, data show that the rejection rate in Russia was at 10.2 per cent – quite lower than the average, which is at 17.9 per cent.