The European Commission has recommended that the Council authorize the Commission to open negotiations on agreements for facilitation of procedures on short-stay visas and on readmission between the European Union and Belarus.
Visa facilitation is very important for Belarusian citizens as it will allow them to obtain visas cheaper and in easier manner, said a press release from the EU Delegation in Belarus.
It said the Commission was proposing to the Member States a list of facilitations which relate to issuing multiple-entry visas with a long period of validity for bona fide travellers, waiving/reducing the handling fees for specific categories to be defined, setting deadlines for processing visa applications, as well as a possible exemption from the visa obligation for holders of diplomatic passports.
The new system will provide for a more predictable and transparent process of obtaining a visa at around half of the present costs. This will improve exchanges and contacts between the Belarusian people and the people of the European Union. At the same time readmission will ensure the return of those who illegally stay in the EU to their home country.