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Document 22014A0430(02)

Visa facilitation

Visa facilitation

 

SUMMARY OF:

Agreement and Decision 2014/242/EU between the EU and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the facilitation of the issuance of visas

Agreement and Decision 2013/628/EU between the EU and the Republic of Armenia on the facilitation of the issuance of visas

Agreement and Decision 2013/521/EU between the EU and the Republic of Cape Verde on facilitating the issue of short-stay visas

Agreement and Decision 2007/340/EC between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the facilitation of the issuance of visas

WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF THE AGREEMENTS AND DECISIONS?

  • The agreements introduce simplified procedures to make issuing short-stay visas (no more than 90 days per period of 180 days) an easier process for the non-EU countries and citizens concerned and, in some cases, the arrangement is reciprocal for EU citizens. They aim to facilitate people-to-people contacts as an important aspect of the steady development of economic, humanitarian, cultural, scientific and other ties.
  • The decisions conclude, on behalf of the EU, the various agreements.

KEY POINTS

EU countries covered by these agreements

  • The agreements apply only to travel for short stays to Schengen area countries. 22 of the 28 EU countries apply the Schengen body of law (‘acquis’). Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania do not yet apply in full the Schengen acquis, while Ireland and the United Kingdom maintain opt-outs. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are not members of the EU but are part of the Schengen area.
  • Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom maintain opt-outs in the areas of freedom and security and justice and are not party to these agreements.

Visa requirements for non-EU nationals

Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 repeals and codifies Regulation (EC) No 539/2001. It lists the non-EU (‘third’) countries whose nationals are exempted from the visa requirement (Annex II) and those third countries whose citizens must obtain a visa to travel to the Schengen area.

Reciprocal arrangements for EU citizens

The arrangements for citizens of Azerbaijan, Cape Verde and Russia apply reciprocally to EU citizens.

Documentary evidence of the purpose of the journey

Appropriate documentary evidence is required to confirm the purpose of the journey for various categories of visa applicant which, depending on the country, may include:

  • close relatives — spouses, children (including adopted), parents (including custodians), grandparents and grandchildren, of legal residents;
  • members of official delegations;
  • business people and representatives of business organisations;
  • drivers conducting international cargo- and passenger-transportation services;
  • pupils, students, and students and accompanying teachers on study trips;
  • persons participating in scientific, academic, cultural or artistic activities;
  • journalists and accompanying technical crew;
  • participants in international sports events and professional assistants;
  • participants in official twin-city exchange programmes;
  • persons travelling for medical reasons and their necessary companions;
  • professionals participating in international exhibitions, conferences, symposiums, seminars or similar events;
  • representatives of civil society organisations on trips concerning educational training, seminars, conferences, and exchange programmes;
  • relatives visiting for burial ceremonies;
  • visitors to military and civil burial grounds;
  • persons travelling for tourism.

Multiple entry visas

Varying requirements apply for different categories of visa applicant, with visas valid for up to 5 years being issued. Generally, depending on the country, family members and official visitors are eligible for 5-year visas, while other categories are eligible for visas valid for 1 to 5 years.

Fees

The agreements provide for a reduction of the amount of the fee to be paid by third-country nationals when applying for a Schengen visa. Apart from the Cape Verde Agreement, all other visa facilitation agreements concerned set the visa fee level at €35 (per application). In addition, fees are waived for many categories of citizen depending on their purpose of travel.

Departure in case of lost or stolen documents

Citizens who have lost their documents or have had their documents stolen may leave the country based on valid identity documents entitling them to cross the border issued by diplomatic missions or consular posts without any visa or other authorisation.

Extension of visa in exceptional circumstances

The citizens who do not have the possibility to leave by the time stated in their visas for reasons of unforeseeable circumstances (‘force majeure’) can have the term of their visas extended free of charge subject to the laws of the countries involved.

Diplomatic passports

Holders of valid diplomatic passports can enter, leave and transit through the territories covered by these agreements without visas. The Cape Verde Agreement also provides for the same exemption for holders of service passport (passports issued to government employees).

These categories of passport holders may stay in the Schengen area for a period not exceeding 90 days per period of 180 days.

Joint Committees

Joint Committees of experts composed of representatives of the EU and the non-EU (‘third’) country concerned monitor the implementation of the agreements.

Return and readmission

These agreements are linked to readmission agreements and common rules for managing the return of irregular migrants.

FROM WHEN DO THE AGREEMENTS AND DECISIONS APPLY?

Country

Date of entry into force of agreement

Date of application of the decision

Republic of Azerbaijan

1 September 2014

14 April 2014

Republic of Armenia

1 January 2014

22 October 2013

Republic of Cape Verde

1 December 2014

7 October 2013

Russian Federation

1 June 2007

19 April 2007

BACKGROUND

The agreements on visa facilitation concluded by the EU with the following third countries do not apply any more to holders of biometric passports from those countries who have subsequently been exempted from the visa requirement: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia (ex former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Serbia and Ukraine.

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the facilitation of the issuance of visas (OJ L 128, 30.4.2014, pp. 49-60)

Council Decision 2014/242/EU of 14 April 2014 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the facilitation of the issuance of visas (OJ L 128, 30.4.2014, pp. 47-48)

Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Armenia on the facilitation of the issuance of visas (OJ L 289, 31.10.2013, pp. 2-11)

Council Decision 2013/628/EU of 22 October 2013 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Armenia on the facilitation of the issuance of visas (OJ L 289, 31.10.2013, p. 1)

Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde on facilitating the issue of short-stay visas to citizens of the Republic of Cape Verde and of the European Union (OJ L 282, 24.10.2013, pp. 3-12)

Council Decision 2013/521/EU of 7 October 2013 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde on facilitating the issue of short-stay visas to citizens of the Republic of Cape Verde and of the European Union (OJ L 282, 24.10.2013, pp. 1-2)

Agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the facilitation of the issuance of visas to the citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation (OJ L 129, 17.5.2007, pp. 27-34)

Council Decision 2007/340/EC of 19 April 2007 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas (OJ L 129, 17.5.2007, pp. 25-26)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 April 2019 amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement, as regards the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union (OJ L 103I , 12.4.2019, pp. 1-4)

Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (codification) (OJ L 303, 28.11.2018, pp. 39-58)

Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (OJ L 348, 24.12.2008, pp. 98-107)

Information relating to the entry into force of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the facilitation of the issuance of visas (OJ L 215, 21.7.2014, p. 1)

Information relating to the entry into force of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Armenia on the facilitation of the issuance of visas (OJ L 334, 13.12.2013, p. 1)

Information relating to the entry into force of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde on facilitating the issue of short-stay visas to citizens of the Republic of Cape Verde and of the European Union (OJ L 321, 7.11.2014, p. 1)

Information relating to the entry into force of the Agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the facilitation of the issuance of visas to the citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation (OJ L 173, 3.7.2007, p. 34)

last update 02.10.2019

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