Who will benefit from the new requirements to the visa centers in Russia
Accreditation is required for the visa application centres can lead to repartition of the market.
Proponents of the bill assure that a “normal” visa application centres will continue to work with the consulates, but hint that the better the function of intermediaries “to close on MFC”. Of six working in the Russian visa centers operators the new requirements barely meets only one. Experts warn that even if the visa centres will not close, their services are expensive.
The interpretation of the law.
The work of visa centers of foreign countries in Russia can be substantially corrected.
Senators Oleg Morozov and Konstantin Kosachev introduced a bill that will change the order of departure from Russia and entry to Russia in terms of determining the requirements of the visa service centers.
Among the new requirements for operators — they have branches not less than in 20 regions of the Russian Federation; the maximum share of foreign participation in the share capital to 20%, in the presence of the applicant of technical means for handling confidential information; not less than three years experience in the provision of services related to the collection and processing of documents for obtaining the visa; the absence of affiliation with a person engaged in tourism activities.
In addition, it stipulates that the work visa application center without accreditation will entail an administrative fine of up to 350 thousand rubles for legal entities.
The initiative has already caused a wave of indignation, including in the tourism industry. Many fear that strict screening of players that will not fit the new requirements will lead to the fact that the country will return in 90-e years with the queues at consulates for visas, and there to the iron curtain close.
“I do not like the visa centers? Will be back with numbers with a ballpoint pen on hand on the night to the embassies to take a turn,” reads one of the comments from users on the website of Oleg Morozova on Facebook.
“At the moment there are no objective reasons for any such bill. The emergence of such a vague and unnecessary bill, which has already led to the truly delusional interpretations and even to panic, maybe not the best way to affect the image of the country”, — consider in Association of tour operators of Russia (ATOR).
In the interests of business
Public outrage was so strong that the senators were forced to explain what they had in mind, proposing a bill.
Thus, Konstantin Kosachev said that “no restraining intentions” of the authors was not. They wanted only “to protect the rights and interests of consumers from unqualified and unscrupulous service providers”.
Accreditation is needed to personal biometric data was stored and processed “in a certain order, and not arbitrarily.”
First of all the deputies, he said, sought to protect Russians from visa application centres and from the “thousands of Russian small law firms”, which do not have the right to collect documents and to issue visas as facilitators.
In support of its point of view, the Senator even posted on his page a letter of the Consul General of Italy, urging people not to trust the “middlemen or agencies, which guarantee obtaining long-term visas in exchange for a certain amount of money.” It stresses that the practice of issuing long-term visas in exchange for money is illegal. While there were cases of falsification of visas. In the case of detection of the visa will be void, and their owners prosecuted.
Oleg Morozov said that “the suspension of an efficiently operating and well-established visa application centres cannot go and speeches”. Even better, he promises. “On the contrary, is supposed to make their services accessible to regions where today it is difficult”.
And apparently trying to distance itself from accusations of excessive patriotism, the senators said that in fact the initiative came from the business community.
Someone earns too much
Indeed, as explained by the “Газете.Ru” in “Business Russia” it is their initiative.
“Consultations started two years ago and in all that time fundamental objections to our initiative was received. All agree that in this sphere it is necessary to restore order, although the specific provisions of the bill, including in terms of requirements to the service centres, of course, will be discussed with all stakeholders,” — said in the business community.
The need to streamline the current process of obtaining visas in the Union also explained the presence of “numerous unfair players in the market” that pose a threat of leakage of personal data.
“The documents, including a passport, which often contains biometric information are given for several days or weeks to firm, and then nothing is known about who, in addition to the official authorities for the issuance of visas, these data are transmitted as they are processed, as is generally transported and stored documents of our citizens”, — they say in “Business Russia”..