Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Good news for Belarusians: EU unveils plan to grant Schengen visas on border

Belsat

Member countries of the Schengen agreement are going to issue short-term visas for up to 15 days which will be available at the moment of crossing the border, Søren Liborius, Head of Press and Information section of EU delegation to Russia, told news agency Interfax.

‘We hope that there will be a new visa type (tour visa) in the next years, and member countries of the Schengen agreement will be able to issue short-term visas for up to 15 days at border crossing points,’ he explained. The persons registered in the visa information system as ‘regular travelers’ will receive three - and five-year multi-visas,’ he added.

According to him, one should provide biometric data and get Schengen short-term visa at least twice a year to become ‘a regular traveler. 'These and other innovations aimed to the simplification of procedure of obtaining the Schengen visa were offered by the European commission and are being discussed by EU Member States now,’ he said.

The EU has already signed visa facilitation agreements with Russia and all Eastern Partnership countries except Belarus. The visa fee for the citizens of those countries has been lowered from €60 to €35. Nevetherless, Belarus has been keeping the lead in the number of Schengen visas received for years. Easier visa rules for Belarusians could undoubtedly contribute to the country`s democratisation.