People from the occupied regions of Ukraine as well as breakaway parts of Georgia with Russian-issued travel documents can no longer request a visa to enter the Schengen Area.
The government saidExternal link on Wednesday it had taken over a corresponding European Union (EU) decision to exclude these regions from the Schengen open-border travel system.
Although it is not an EU state, Switzerland is a member of the 27-country Schengen Area and is therefore obliged to implement such decisions, the government added.
The new restrictionsExternal link concern Russian-issued documents from the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine, as well as the two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, which were declared independent states by Moscow in 2008 – an opinion which most countries around the world, including Switzerland, do not share.
As for the date of issue after which the documents are no longer valid for Schengen travel, these vary: for example, from August 2008 for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, March 2014 for Crimea and Sevastopol, and May 2022 for Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
The restrictions concern ordinary and diplomatic passports, residence permits for stateless persons, certificates of return, and seafarers’ identity cards.
Humanitarian visas, visas issued for reasons of national interest, or visas due to international obligations remain possible for people from the affected regions.
Source : SWI