EU not to freeze Schengen visa fee for Belarusians

The European Union will not freeze the Schengen visa fee for Belarusians; it will drop only after the visa facilitation agreement comes into force.

On 2 February 2020, the revised EU Visa Code will become effective; as part of it, an increase of the Schengen visa fee from €60 to €80 will be introduced. However, this increase is called temporary by the EU. After the agreement on visa facilitation enters into force, the visa fee for Belarusians will be automatically reduced from €80 to €35.

“However, such an increase would be temporary only until the Visa Facilitation Agreement enters into force. The visa fee would then automatically decrease from €80 to €35 for all Belarusian citizens. Taking into consideration the time frame and procedural requirements, it is impossible to rescind the increase in the visa fee for Belarusians after 2 February,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the Delegation of the EU to Belarus.

On January 8, the European Union and Belarus signed a visa facilitation agreement and a readmission agreement. The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier for Belarusian citizens to acquire short-term visas to come to the European Union.

The agreements are to be submitted to the European Parliament for consent. The Council will then be able to formally conclude the ratification of both agreements. A ratification procedure is also required on the Belarusian side, through approval from Belarus National Assembly. The agreements could enter into force in June 2020 (on the first day of the second month following conclusion). Both agreements will enter into force on the same day.

Belarus may ratify visa facilitation agreement with EU soon – MP