Further to the announcement in last week’s press regarding the possibility of a move towards the additional requirements of obtaining bio-metric data as part of the visa procurement process, the head Consulate at the Russian Visa Application centre has now confirmed that this practice will be introduced in the United Kingdom and Ireland on December 10th 2014.
This means that virtually all travellers to Russia resident in the UK will be required to appear in person at either the London or Edinburgh visa application centres to have fingerprints taken as part of the visa application process. Given that travellers must travel to one of these two locations, it is imperative that the application, supporting documents and payment be in complete conformance to consular requirements to ensure smooth processing and avoid subsequent visits. FCm and our specialist Visa processing partners will offer a comprehensive range of services to ensure documents are correctly checked and verified prior to the applicant travelling to the Application Centre. This will avoid the risk of wasted cost and time as a result of having to return again because of incomplete or inaccurate documentation.
Additional details are outlined below.
- What is the new policy for Russia Visa Applications per the most recent communications from the Consulate? All persons now applying for a Russian visa, with the exception of those travelling on official/diplomatic business and travellers under the age of 12, will now be required to attend one of two application centres to have their bio-metric data (fingerprints) captured as part of the visa application process.
- This is not optional; Any person refusing to undergo this procedure will not be issued a visa.
- Bio-metric data will not be stored and subsequent applications for visas to this destination will unfortunately require the traveller to once again have to travel to have their fingerprint data captured.
- The new rules apply to all persons applying within the UK and Northern Ireland and will apply to travellers of all nationalities.
- Edinburgh and London are the nominated locations of the two Visa Applications Centres where bio-metric data will be taken.
- There will be no formal appointment system and applicants will be required to turn up on a first come first served basis. This could mean very long waiting times at the centre.
- There will be two processing speeds, a “next day” service and a “normal service”. For the Next Day service, we have been told that this will only be available for travellers who have had their bio-metric data captured prior to 3pm the previous day. The normal service will take 6 days.
- Collections can be made at the centres between 3pm and 5pm daily.
What if an application is in process right now?
All applications that are complete and received prior to 08.00hrs on December 9th will be processed per current guidelines and will not require the traveller attend the visa application centre to provide fingerprints.
Given that travellers must travel to London or Edinburgh to provide fingerprints, it is imperative that the application, supporting documents and payment be in complete conformance to consular requirements to ensure smooth processing and avoid subsequent visits.