Eu Belarus Visa Facilitation Agreement

Several groups of Belarusian nationals can apply for a multiple-entry visa with a longer validity period (up to five years). The agreement simplifies the documentation that must be provided by certain categories of citizens. The Visa Facilitation Agreement aims to facilitate reciprocal travel, foster international contacts and tourism, and strengthen mutual trust and understanding among peoples. The VISA FACILITATION and Readmission Agreements between the EU and Belarus enter into force today. These agreements are an important step towards strengthening the EU`s commitment to the Belarusian population and civil society. They will pave the way for improving citizens` mobility, facilitate travel from Belarus to the EU and help strengthen ties between Belarus and the EU. The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier and cheaper to obtain a visa for Belarusian citizens travelling to the Schengen area and EU citizens travelling to Belarus. The agreement simplifies the documents that must be submitted by certain categories of citizens as well as the issuance of multiple-entry visas for certain categories of frequent travellers. In addition, the general fee for processing visa applications falls to 35 euros. Holders of diplomatic passports are exempt from the visa requirement. This Agreement applies to short-term travel, defined as a stay not exceeding 90 days in a period of 180 days. Upon the entry into force of the readmission agreement, Belarus and the European Union will have to take back their own citizens, third-country nationals and stateless persons who do not fulfil or no longer fulfil the conditions for legal residence on the territory of the other State.

The document provides for a transitional period of two years for the readmission of third-country nationals. The Joint Declaration annexed to the Readmission Agreement obliges the European Union to provide technical and financial assistance to Belarus in this field. Belarus shall be informed of the conclusions of those agreements which enter into force on the first day of the second month following notification. . . .