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Which country is leading visa issuer to Russians in 2023 despite sanctions

Which country is leading visa issuer to Russians in 2023 despite sanctions Photo: Schengen visa (
Author: Daryna Vialko

Despite the war in Ukraine and EU sanctions, some European countries continue to issue visas to Russians. In 2023, Italy approved the highest number of visa applications from Russian citizens, according to

The number of visa applications to Schengen countries from Russian citizens in 2023 decreased by a quarter (24%) after EU sanctions imposed due to the war in Ukraine. Last year, 520,000 visa applications were received from Russians. Of these, 82% were approved.

Some countries almost never refused to issue Schengen visas to Russians. In Poland, Iceland, and Slovakia, the approval rate for applications was as high as 93%. Italy granted the largest number of visas to Russians last year - 134,000 entry permits. In this country, 93.4% of requests were approved.

In Poland, Russians submitted 257 visa applications, 99.6% of which were approved by the country. However, the number of people attempting to obtain a Schengen visa in Poland sharply declined - in 2022, Russians submitted 2,200 visa applications.

The highest refusal rate for Schengen visas was in Estonia. The country approved only 44.4% of visa applications from Russian citizens. In total, Russians submitted 2,800 visa applications to this Baltic country.

Norway has introduced new rules for Russian citizens entering the country. Those entering for tourist purposes will not be allowed to cross the border.
We also reported that Czechia proposed to extend the ban on issuing visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.