The EU-Belarus visa facilitation and readmission agreements come into force today. These agreements are an important step in strengthening the EU`s commitment to the people and civil society of Belarus. They will pave the way for better mobility of citizens travelling to the EU from Belarus and help to strengthen ties between Belarus and the EU. «These two agreements have been supported in meeting the needs of the Belarusian people, but they should not be interpreted as a breakthrough in EU-Belarus relations. The Belarusian authorities must make considerable efforts to achieve tangible results, respect fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and human rights. The electoral processes and the political system in Belarus do not respect European and international standards and do not guarantee and protect universal fundamental freedoms. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, there were significant procedural flaws, including restrictive measures against opposition parties and candidates, and did not show any improvement in democracy. The agreement guarantees full respect for human rights and other obligations under international conventions. The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier and cheaper for Belarusian citizens travelling to the Schengen area and for EU citizens travelling to Belarus to obtain a visa.
The agreement simplifies documentation, which must be provided by certain categories of citizens, as well as the issuance of multiple-entry visas to certain categories of frequent flyers. In addition, the overhead costs of processing visa applications will be reduced to 35 euros. Diplomatic passport holders are exempt from the visa requirement. This agreement applies to short-term travel defined as a stay of no more than 90 days over a 180-day period. Additional information regarding a long-stay visa (D) www.vm.ee/en/long-stay-d-visa Please note that our Embassy only accepts pre-filled online application forms to apply for a Schengen visa. Please use the FORM LINE APPLICATION. The completed application form must be printed, signed and submitted to the Embassy. «The situation in Belarus is worrying and the EU must take a firm stand against human rights violations committed by public authorities. At the same time, we must not leave the Belarusian people behind, especially in these difficult times. That is why I am pleased that the European Parliament has approved the agreement between the European Union and Belarus on the facilitation of visa procedures. It is a clear sign that we want to promote continued cooperation between us, support contacts between citizens and help civil society prosper. The Council today adopted two decisions on an agreement to facilitate the issuance of visas and a readmission agreement with Belarus.
As soon as the readmission agreement comes into force, Belarus and the European Union must return to see their own citizens, third-country and stateless nationals who do not meet or no longer meet the legal residence requirements of the other country. The document provides for a transitional period of two years for the readmission of third-country nationals. The joint declaration attached to the readmission agreement commits the European Union to provide technical and financial assistance to Belarus in this area.