The European Parliament and the Council of Europe have reached a preliminary agreement on the EU visa policy modernization, TUT.BY reports.
What does that mean for Belarusians?
The new EU visa policy will include several crucial points. As explained on the website of the European Commission, one of them is a more flexible procedure for obtaining a visa.
Other changes will affect the cost of a Schengen visa, the price of the visa allowing one to visit 26 states will rise from €60 to €80.
Meanwhile, Belarus and the EU have almost reached an agreement on simplifying the visa regime. As soon as the document is signed, the cost of a Schengen visa for Belarusians will drop to €35 (when applying for a visa at the embassy).
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However, it will take time for new rules to come into force, as the procedure is pretty complex and lengthy.
On 20 February, the agreement has been approved by the EU member states and now has to be approved also by the European Parliament. After that, the European Parliament and the Council should officially adopt the agreed amendments.
Then, the adopted text will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and only 6 months after publication, the new rules will come into effect.