What does the abolition of the facilitated visa regime with the EU mean?

What does the abolition of the facilitated visa regime with the EU mean?

The EU commissioners have officially announced the suspension of the simplified visa regime between the European Union and Russia. This means that it will now be more difficult to get a visa to Europe, you will have to pay more for it, you will have to wait longer, and it’s not at all a fact that you will be able to get hold of the treasured insert in your passport. “Subtleties” figured out what restrictions are already known, and what can be expected in the future.

Expensive and long

The rise in the price of a visa is the first symptom of the abolition of the facilitated visa regime. The cost of a pass to Europe has more than doubled – from 35 EUR to 80 EUR. In addition, it will be officially longer to consider applications for visas: from 15 to 45 days. They say that this is how long it will take for consular officers to thoroughly check each candidate for entry. Moreover, they will be interested not only in financial viability, availability of work, hotel reservations and return tickets. It is assumed that after the innovations, the consulates will, in particular, study the social networks of visa applicants for their inclusion in groups that “may pose a threat to national interests, internal security or international relations” of a European state.

To whom and for how much

The European Union has promised not to obstruct the entry of those who go to Europe for humanitarian reasons. The list of those who can get a visa quickly includes dissidents, journalists, human rights activists, students, those whose family members are citizens of the European Union. Probably, there will be no problems for scientists, for those who are invited to work and who go to be treated. Tourist applications will be considered last. Multiple visas seem to be a thing of the past: Europe intends to issue short-term visas strictly according to travel dates. And those long-term visas that Russians have right now may be canceled in the light of new circumstances. But for now, these are just plans.

Possible innovations

As early as the end of February, holders of diplomatic passports were deprived of the right to visa-free entry to the EU countries. A number of people entering – from representatives of business communities, various levels of governments, the Supreme and Constitutional Courts and others – from spring must provide a full package of documents. It is expected to become even more complete. So far, its specific content is only being discussed by representatives of the European Union. And Russian tourists are already fantasizing about what might be there. Among the popular versions are the provision of detailed information about relatives and place of work (probably in the form of special questionnaires), official invitations from the migration departments or the Foreign Ministries (such are required, for example, for citizens of Afghanistan for a private visit to Russia), contracts for the provision of tourist services or foreign tourist admission confirmation (these are required for US citizens traveling to Russia for tourism purposes). Europe also plans to refuse to issue Schengen visas to citizens who have received Russian passports in the “occupied territories of Ukraine.” But I am ready to consider applications from them in exceptional cases.

When everything becomes clear

The European Commissioners promised that they would announce the details of the “complicated” visa regime with Russia after September 12. Fortunately, there is no talk of a complete cessation of issuing visas to Europe. For example, in France and Germany this idea is not popular. And in general, the representatives of the European Union themselves admit that such a ban would be contrary to the democratic norms promoted by this organization.

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