Some bad news for travelers from Belarus to the European Union: There won’t be a drop in the visa fee for the time being but, in the future, it could once the visa facilitation agreement between the two comes into full effect.
There is a considerable amount of confusion, however, as to what is going on exactly because the EU is also raising visa fees from €60 to €80 but will then lower them to €35 for Belarusians once the agreement begins.
And the European Union’s corresponding bodies have been less than clear on this matter.
Addressing this topic specifically, the European Union’s delegation to Belarus said, “However, such an increase would be temporary only until the Visa Facilitation Agreement enters into force. The visa fee would then automatically decrease from €80 to €35 for all Belarusian citizens. Taking into consideration the time frame and procedural requirements, it is impossible to rescind the increase in the visa fee for Belarusians after 2 February.”
The agreement was signed on January 8th of this year. Its primary goal is to make visa applications easier – and cheaper – for citizens of Belarus. Currently, there is a ratification process involving the corresponding EU and Belarusian legislative organs but, once that goes through, the agreement could come into force at the same time. One timeline for this posits the new system beginning in June of this year.