On 28 May, Council of the European Union adopted two decisions to conclude a visa facilitation agreement and a readmission agreement with Belarus.
The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier and cheaper for Belarusian citizens travelling to the Schengen Area and EU citizens travelling to Belarus to obtain a visa. The agreement simplifies the documentation needed from certain categories of citizens as well as the issuance of multiple-entry visas for frequent travellers. It also reduces the general fee for processing visa applications to €35. Holders of diplomatic passports are exempt from visas. This agreement applies to short-term travel of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.
The agreement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation sets out clear obligations and procedures for EU Member States and Belarus on readmitting illegal citizens residing in the territory of the other party. The agreement covers both the readmission of own nationals as well as third-country nationals and stateless persons, as long as they have a clear link with the requested country (for example a visa or residence permit).
The agreement ensures full respect of human rights and other obligations under international instruments.
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