According to a press conference held in New York on 21 September 2022, Finland is preparing a national solution to reduce tourism from Russia to Finland, in addition to the measures already taken (please see GMS Flash Alert 2022-156 (29 August 2022) for the measures already taken). New legislation could be introduced, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.1
Additionally, Finland is calling for a Schengen-wide recommendation that would allow Schengen states to annul or revoke a person’s visa or impose an entry ban on a Russian national, if any other Schengen state refuses the entry of the Russian national at its border. Finland also proposed in a meeting of European Union (EU) foreign ministers on 19 September that tourist visas would be included in the scope of EU sanctions on Russia.2
WHY THIS MATTERS
Entry to Finland based on tourism might be further restricted for Russian nationals, which should be considered by anyone planning to apply for a tourist visa to Finland or enter Finland with such from Russia.
Finland has reduced the issuance of Schengen visas based on tourism from Russia, but entry with tourist visas issued by other Schengen states has not been limited until now. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto, stated on 21 September 2022, that Finland does not wish to be a transit country for tourism from Russia, which is why prompt actions are planned. According to the minister, it can be expected that the Finnish parliament will discuss the matter shortly.
Mr. Haavisto stated, however, that Finland does not intend to close the border with Russia or limit travel based on, for example, visiting family members.3
The visa restrictions will not have an impact on residence permit processes from Russia to Finland.
The KPMG International member firm in Finland continues to monitor these matters closely.
1 ”Haavisto: Suomi alkanut valmistella lakia venäläisten viisumien rajoittamiseksi – ’Eduskunta tulee saamaan tämän nopeasti käsittelyyn’” at: https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/haavisto-suomi-alkanut-valmistella-lakia-venalaisten-viisumien-rajoittamiseksi-eduskunta-tulee-saamaan-taman-nopeasti-kasittelyyn/8518284.
2 See (in English) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Finland proposes a European Commission recommendation on visa annulment if a Schengen country refuses entry of Russian nationals."
3 ”Haavisto: Suomi alkanut valmistella lakia venäläisten viisumien rajoittamiseksi – ’Eduskunta tulee saamaan tämän nopeasti käsittelyyn’” at: https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/haavisto-suomi-alkanut-valmistella-lakia-venalaisten-viisumien-rajoittamiseksi-eduskunta-tulee-saamaan-taman-nopeasti-kasittelyyn/8518284 .
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Finland.
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