Fri. May 27th, 2022

EU Commission puts forward guidelines to help Member States apply the partial suspension of Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia for Russian officials and business people

Today, the Commission is putting forward guidelines to help Member States and their consulates implement the partial suspension of the Visa Facilitation Agreement with the Russian Federation, in place since 25 February 2022, in response to Russia’s acts of aggression against Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

The partial suspension targets specific categories of persons close to the regime: it applies to Russian citizens who are members of the Russian Federation’s official delegations; members of the Russian Federation’s national and regional Governments and Parliaments; the Russian Federation’s Constitutional Court and the Russian Federation Supreme Court; citizens of the Russian Federation holding valid diplomatic passports; as well as business people and representatives of business organisations.

The suspension means that these groups no longer have privileged access to the European Union. As an example, the documentary evidence to be issued ahead of a journey is no longer waived, and the fees for processing of visa applications are no longer reduced, meaning that the standard €80 visa fee applies by default.

The suspension does not affect ordinary Russian citizens, who continue enjoying the same benefits under the agreement as they currently do. Today’s guidelines will help Member States and their consulates in applying the partial suspension, clarify the procedures and conditions for issuing visas to Russian citizens in any given consular location of the EU and ensure that visa issuance on humanitarian grounds should always remain possible.