In the heart of the French capital opened Russian Visa Center (REC). It is located in the business center and a stone’s throw from the famous Champs-Elysées. The French have long asked to do it to the maximum to make life easier for those of them who visit Russia on business or as tourists — said at the ceremony, the Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov. And so it happened. Thus, the commitment we have made to our French colleagues, satisfied.
During the month of REC acted in "test" mode: the reception of documents produced from the visa agencies, simulated an interaction with the consular department of the Russian Embassy in France. The center will provide advice free of charge wishing to obtain Russian visas. Services to build a package of documents will cost them 25 euros. After they are delivered to the Russian embassy, which has the exclusive prerogative of the issue of visas. As for the visa fee, then he, as had been agreed at the time with the European Union remains the same — 35 and 70 euros, if the visa is for three days.
With the opening of the REC should be gone long queues in front of our embassy at the Paris boulevard Lannes. As the head of the consular department Dmitry Mezhaurov, during the peak summer holiday season its employees gave out on 900 visas daily. In total, over the past year in France has been issued 130,000 visas, of which 84 thousand — in Paris.
It is estimated that now about 90 percent of Russian visas will pass through the new center near the Champs Elysees, on the one hand, improve the comfort of French travelers will save them from standing in queues, on the other — will remove an unnecessary burden to our diplomats. In addition, as suggested by Dmitry Mezhaurov, the creation of such centers is also important because in the future will move to the issuance of visas to members of biometrics — fingerprints or retina. This is a general global trend, he said. That is, will require new equipment that will be difficult to mark the walls of consulates. As for the REC, then there is, for all the conditions. As before, directly to the Consular Section will be able to handle local government agencies, guides employees on a business trip in Russia, international organizations such as UNESCO, the OECD, the next of kin of French diplomats working in Russia, as well as foreign family members of Russian citizens living in France.
Russian visa centers in addition to France, and soon they will open here in other cities — Strasbourg, Marseille and Lyon, already operating in the Baltic countries, USA. They also developed and being tested in Italy, Switzerland and several other European countries.