EU countries insist on tough visa policy to fight illegal immigrants

EU countries insist on a strict visa policy to combat illegal immigrants

This idea resurfaced during a meeting of EU interior ministers on the fight against illegal migration and organized crime. The meeting took place in Sweden on Thursday, January 26.

“If intensified political and diplomatic efforts do not lead to the desired results, the European Commission should return to the Council of Europe with proposals for visa restrictions,” — the announcement was made by Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stanergaard, who chaired the meeting.

Several countries, including the Netherlands and Lithuania, have already supported these proposals and urged the Commission to act on them. However, not everyone likes this idea, as some countries, such as Germany, have some reservations.

According to the data, only 21 percent of 340,500 orders for the return of migrants to their countries of origin were implemented in 2021.

Thus, in Lithuania, 4,200 illegal migrants arrived in the country in 2022, and only one in four voluntarily returned to his homeland. And this — one of the best indicators in the EU.

The idea to use the EU visa policy as leverage to pressure third countries to take their citizens who are in the EU without reason was put forward by the EU interior ministers back in March 2021 . 

However, since then, special EU visa measures have been introduced only for Gambian citizens, making it as difficult as possible for them to obtain Schengen visas and increasing the cost of fees.

The tough visa policy is that that all applicants will be required to submit a complete set of documents. At the same time, the 15-day processing period, as well as the issuance of multiple-entry visas, will be suspended. Exceptions for holders of diplomatic and service passports should also be abolished.

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