Visa rules serve both as an instrument used to regulate the entry of foreign citizens into a country and as a tool in relations between countries, groups of countries, and citizens. The authors of a new report believe that it is thus important not only to analyze the visa system itself, but also to look at how well this system reflects current political objectives, and what impact it has on different social groups: students, specialists working abroad, people visiting their relatives abroad, and the flows of tourists, businesspeople and others seeking to travel from one country to another.

This report, published by the Carnegie Moscow Center (in Russian), presents the results of an international survey organized by the Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland) on the issue of Schengen visas for citizens of post-Soviet countries. The survey was conducted in Moscow, Kiev, Minsk and Chisinau and covered the embassies of eight Schengen countries and the United Kingdom. The study, conducted in October-December 2008, surveyed people waiting in line to obtain visas from the relevant consulates. The Carnegie Moscow Center, which coordinated the survey in Russia, added to the standard program a series of interviews with the heads of the consular services of the countries concerned, in order to present their views of the situation and their vision of the problems and possible solutions.

Full text of the report is available in Russian.