The Finnish Consulate is to open a new visa center in St. Petersburg on February 11.

The new center will enable Russians to apply for Finnish visas without standing in long lines, according to the General Consulate of Finland. The visa-processing office will be located in the center of the city, in the Olympic Plaza shopping center at Ulitsa Stremyannaya 21/5.

The center will have 83 service counters staffed by more than 200 employees. The consulate itself will not however reduce its staff, because the center will only take over the technical function of receiving and giving out documents. The decision-making will remain the responsibility of the consulate.

The number of visa applications at the Finnish Consulate in St. Petersburg grows every year. In 2010 it reviewed almost 750,000 applications. At the new visa center, the waiting time will be no more than 15 minutes, according to the consulate.

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