Despite Belarus signed the much sought-after agreements on visa facilitation and readmission with the EU, Belarusians wishing to get a Schengen visa to travel to the Schengen area states will have to pay a fee of €80, instead of €60 as they did up to now.
Andrey Savinykh, the chairman of the Standing Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, spoke about what to expect next.
During the interview, he noted that following the signature, Belarusian MPs are now expected to ratify the visa facilitation agreement with the European Union.
“As far as I know, it is not a problem with us. We have already declared our readiness to ratify this agreement as a matter of priority at the spring session that will start on 2 April. I think we will do it on the first or second day,” the official explained.
Further, the procedures go through the Council of the Republic, the president approves the agreement and the sides notify each other on the completion of the ratification procedures.
A ratification procedure is also required on the EU side, through approval from the European Parliament, so that the Council can then formally conclude the ratification for both deals.
The visa facilitation agreement is expected to come into force in June 2020. “We will try to make it happen. This is a sensible and achievable objective,” the Belarusian MP believes.
Reсall that Belarusians, аrom the first Monday of February 2020 and on, will be subject to the new visa сode, which among others foresees an increase in Schengen visa fees from €60 to €80.
Belarus will be affected by the increase, but only temporarily until the visa facilitation agreement enters into force. “The visa fee would then automatically decrease from €80 to €35 for all Belarusian citizens,” the EUEA explained at the time.
The visa facilitation agreement between the states provides for mutual facilitation of visa procedures for a broad spectrum of citizens and for reducing visa fees.