“Germany does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which is why the only option for you would be to apply for a visa in Kiev. Applying for a visa by submitting a Russian passport is impossible. You will need to submit a Ukrainian passport if you still have one,” the embassy’s officials said.

According to the German Embassy in Kiev, the Visa Information System was launched for Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries on 23 June 2015. Under the new system, all applicants will need to appear in person to a consulate or visa center in order to provide their biometric data.

“The German Embassy in Kiev is authorized to process visa applications submitted by residents of Crimea. The rule applies to applicants residing in Crimea, irrespective of whether they hold a Ukrainian passport or whether they hold a passport legitimately issued by a third country. To apply for a Schengen visa, individuals are to apply to one of the visa centers in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lvov and Kiev or have an interview at the embassy,” says information published on the embassy’s website.

According to the embassy’s officials, the changes apply to all applicants, including those willing to apply for a 90-day Schengen visa. For all subsequent visa applications submitted within a 5-year period upon providing biometric data, fingerprints will be copied from a unified visa system without the need for an applicant to submit them personally. The only exception to this rule is children under 12, heads of states and members of national governments travelling in an official delegation, as well as individuals physically unable to provide their fingerprints.

“The recent political developments have not affected the validity of the Schengen visas in Ukrainian passports held by Crimean residents. The German embassy in Kiev decides whether to recognize a visa in the event of a new passport being obtained or any other circumstances on an individual basis,” says information published on the embassy’s website.