EU – Belarus Sign Agreements on Visa Facilitation and Readmission
Belarus has finally signed the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission with the European Union. The signing took place on January 8, just as previously agreed on by European Union and Belarus representatives at the 8th meeting between the Coordination Group of both parties, which took place in Brussels on 17-18 December 2019.
The visa facilitation agreement tends to facilitate getting a Schengen Visa to Europe for Belarussians, above all by reducing the fee to €35.
Moreover, the service fee will be limited, and the Schengen consulates will be obliged to take a decision on visa applicants within shorter periods.
Several categories of travellers from Belarus, in particular journalists, students and members of official delegations will be able to receive multiple-entry visas with increasingly longer validity, while having to submit fewer supporting documents to prove their purpose of travel.
As per the EU-Belarus readmission agreement, its main purpose is to establish procedures for the safe and orderly return of persons who reside irregularly in the EU or Belarus, in full respect of their rights under international law. The agreements have been signed on the basis of reciprocity.
The agreements need to be ratified by the both sides. The agreement could enter into force in June 2020 after.