MINSK, 9 January (BelTA) – Belarusian MPs are set to ratify the Agreement on Visa Facilitation with the European Union at the spring session, Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs of the House of Representatives Andrei Savinykh told the media on 9 January, BelTA has learned.
“Belarusian MPs declare their readiness to ratify this agreement in the priority manner at the forthcoming spring session of the parliament. We also call on our counterparts in the European Parliament to make this process irreversible,” Andrei Savinykh said.
In his words, the agreement will facilitate travel, promote international contacts and tourism, and strengthen trust and mutual understanding between nations.
Belarus and the European Union signed the agreements on facilitating visa procedures and on readmitting the individuals staying without an authorization on 8 January. The visa facilitation agreement provides for mutual facilitation of visa procedures for a broad spectrum of citizens and for reducing visa fees. Citizens will be able to apply for visas to embassies of European nations and to visa centers.
The Schengen visa fee for Belarusians will drop to €35 while the decision to issue a visa will be made within ten days (30 days if additional background checks are required). Many groups of citizens will be able to apply for visas without paying the fee depending on the purpose of the visit and will be able to get multiple-entry visas with longer periods of validity using a simplified procedure. The cost of Belarusian visas for European Union citizens will drop to €35 as well. In addition to that, the grounds for the visa waiver for non-commercial purposes will be expanded. The duration of stay of foreigners in Belarus will be doubled from 90 days per year to 180 days.
The documents have to be ratified by the Belarusian parliament and endorsed by the European Parliament. They will come into force on the first day of the second month after the sides have notified each other about the completion of the ratification procedures. The visa facilitation agreement is expected to come into force in June 2020.More about Politics