The agreement on EU visa simplifaction for Belarusians should come into force simultaneously with the agreement on the readmission of persons staying without permission. Both agreements contain reciprocal obligations.
The nuances of the long-awaited visa facilitation process were made public by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus during an online conference on Facebook.
After the agreements come in force, Belarus and the EU countries will have to carry out readmission – the return of irregular migrants to their countries.
These are citizens of Belarus and the EU, third-country nationals and stateless persons who don’t comply or no longer comply with the criteria of legality in each other’s territory.
The draft readmission agreement provides for mutual quick-action and effective procedures related to the process. With respect to Belarus’s obligations to readmission of third-country nationals, the draft agreement provides for a two-year transitional period.
It means that two years from the date of entry into force of the agreement, it will not apply to third-country nationals and stateless persons. Belarusians authorities believe that the agreement doesn’t carry significant migration risks for Belarus, the Foreign Ministry noted.
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Recall that on 20 September, the ministry announced that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko decided to sign an agreement on visa facilitation and readmission with the EU.
Next day the presidential decrees on draft agreements were published. Minsk and Brussels are now conducting domestic procedures that will allow signing the agreements.
“The agreements will come in force two months after the conclusion,” said Head of the EU delegation in Belarus Dirk Schuebel. He noted that it can take some time since there are 28 EU counties.
When both agreements come in force, the Schengen visa fee for Belarusian citizens will drop from the current €60 to €35.