ETIAS Won’t Apply to Russian Diplomatic Passport Holders

Russian nationals holding diplomatic passports granted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, will not need Travel Authorizations to travel to Europe after 2020, the European Commission has confirmed.

After many speculations that Russian diplomats would need to apply for a travel authorization through the new European Travel Information and Authorization System, an official of the European Commission has noted for that such speculations are false.

Article 2 of the ETIAS regulation should be read fully. The Article exempts Russian travelers to the Schengen Area Holding diplomatic passports, all due to the visa-facilitation agreements signed between Europe and Russia. Speculations as this one, that Russians will need the ETIAS, spark confusion, therefore we must make sure that fake news as this one are confuted,” the official confirmed.

The issue of visa-free travel is established in the agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the facilitation of the issuance of visas to the citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation, signed in May 2006.

Article 11 on holders of Diplomatic passports clearly states that citizens of the Russian Federation or the Member States, holders of valid diplomatic passports may enter, leave and transit through the territories of the Member States or the Russian Federation without visas.

The ETIAS establishing regulation confirms that nationals of third-countries holding official apports will be exempt from the requirement, if they were previously exempt from the visa-requirements due to a bilateral agreement.

This Regulation does not apply to: (j) third-country nationals holding diplomatic or service passports who have been exempted from the visa requirement pursuant to an international agreement concluded by the Union and a third country,” the ETIAS establishing regulation reads.

The ETIAS is an online scheme, the main purpose of the establishment of which, is to keep track of visitors and permit entry only to those meeting the conditions set under the visa-free agreements with third-countries.

The authorization will permit its holder to travel throughout the Schengen Area, which consists of 22 EU members, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The conditions for entry and stay in the Schengen area, as the permitted period of stay or purpose of entry, will remain unchanged.

Nationals of over 60 world countries, that currently can travel visa-free to the Schengen Area, will need to apply for an ETIAS as of January 1, 2021.

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