Council adopts total suspension of visa facilitation with Russia
The Council today adopted a decision totally suspending the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia. Therefore, the general rules of the Visa Code will apply to Russian citizens.
This will result in an increase in the visa application fee from €35 to €80, the need to present additional supporting documents, increased visa processing times and more restrictive rules for the issuance of multiple entry visas.
A visa facilitation agreement allows privileged access to the EU to citizens of trusted partners with whom we share common values. With its unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression, including its indiscriminate attacks on civilians, Russia has broken that trust and flouted the fundamental values of our international community. Today’s decision is a direct consequence of Russia’s actions and further proof of our unwavering commitment to Ukraine and its people.
Vít Rakušan, Czech Interior Minister
The decision should be published in the Official Journal on September 9, 2022. It will enter into force on the day of its adoption and will apply from September 12, 2022.
The visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia entered into force on 1 June 2007. Its objective was to facilitate the issuance of short-stay visas (not more than 90 days by 180 days) on the basis of the reciprocity.
On 24 February 2022, the European Council condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and expressed its full solidarity with Ukraine and its people. On February 25, the EU adopted new restrictive measures against Russia, as well as the partial suspension of the visa facilitation agreement for Russian diplomats, other officials and businessmen.
Since then, the EU has adopted additional measures to respond to Russia’s actions and to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. At their informal meeting on August 31, foreign ministers reached a political agreement to move forward with the full suspension of the visa facilitation agreement.
The total suspension affects all categories of travelers coming to the EU for a short stay. The Commission should present additional guidelines to ensure that this suspension does not have a negative impact on certain people traveling to the EU for essential purposes, such as journalists, dissidents and representatives of civil society.
Visit the meeting page