After the new visa regulations came into force, twice as few visa applications were submitted.
According to the Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg, in September the demand for Finnish Schengen visas reduced by half.
Over 7 thousand St. Petersburg residents applied for Finnish visas during the first two weeks of September. A year ago, there were more than 15 thousand of applicants during the same period. The period required to make a visa also decreased and now makes up to three weeks.
Since September 1 Finland reinforced visa regulations for Russian tourists, now they have to prove they are solvent by providing a bank or credit card statement, proof of employment with salary information, or a document confirming they own real estate property. Besides, tourists are required to produce a hotel reservation confirmation and travel tickets.
At the same time, since October 1 foreign tourists will be able to visit St. Petersburg and Leningrad region with free e-visas. Introducing a simplified entrance regime was an initiative of St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov.