From Monday, Norway introduces obligatory fingerprints for all Russian citizens over the age of 12 that applies for a Schengen visa to Norway.
Moscow, however, has no immediate plans to do the same for Norwegian that would like to visit Russia.
“Regarding biometric visa with fingerprints, it is only in Denmark among the Scandinavian countries where it is possible to get such Russian visas,” says Igor Lapitsky, Deputy, vice-consul with the Russian Consulate General in Kirkenes to BarentsObserver.
He says biometric visa is a new practice. If it creates positive effects in the future, it might be introduced in Norway.
Norwegians can deliver visa applications two places in Norway, in Kirkenes or Oslo, or they could have a local tourist company or someone else to do the delivery.
In remote areas of northwest-Russia, people worry that Norway’s introduction of obligatory fingerprint scan when applying for visa will both make the process much more expensive and time-consuming.
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Norway has visa centres in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, and applicants from other areas will have to travel to these centres to give fingerprints when applying for a Norwegian Schengen visa.
Head of the visa section at the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk, Marit Egholm Jacobsen, told BarentsObserver they have thought about some solutions trying to make the collection of fingerprints easier for people in remote areas, but the Foreign Ministry in Oslo has so far not approved the plans