The Embassy of Finland in Moscow or any of the Visa Facilitation Services Global (VSF) in Russia will not receive applications for visas and residence permits to Finland from August 1 to August 31 due to limited resources, said the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in a press release on Friday.
Applications submitted before 1 August 2023, however, will be processed as normal.
On 6 July 2023, Russia announced the closure of Finland’s Consulate General in St Petersburg as of 1 October 2023. Consequently, the customer service at the Consulate General will close as of 1 September 2023.
The St Petersburg office of the Visa Facilitation Services Global (VSF) will not receive applications for visas and residence permits to Finland as of 1 August 2023.
As of 1 September 2023, Finland’s Embassy in Moscow will take on the duties for consular and immigration matters previously handled in St Petersburg.
From that date onwards, the Embassy in Moscow will be responsible for all passport and notarial services and deal with all cases of Finnish nationals needing help in Russia.
The Foreign Ministry will inform later regarding the possibility to submit applications for visas and residence permits at the VFS office in St Petersburg as of 1 September 2023.
According to Russia, the announced expulsions are a countermeasure in response to Finland’s decision, made on June 6, to expel nine members of the personnel at the Embassy of Russia in Helsinki.
Earlier, in April, 2023, Russia has frozen the bank accounts of the Finnish missions in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Finnish government on July 19 decided to withdraw consent for Russia to operate its consulate general in Turku as of October 1, 2023