EU Commission Clarifies: Schengen Visa Fees Will Not Increase for Azerbaijan, Armenia & Russia
The new Schengen Visa Code that came into force on February 2, which among others foresees an increase of 33.3% in Schengen Visa fees, will not affect Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia in terms of visa fees.
The nationals of these three countries will continue to pay €35 per visa application, as foreseen by the Visa Facilitation Agreements they have reached with the European Union.
“The visa facilitation agreements in place between the EU and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia provide for a lower visa fee set at €35… the increase of the general visa fee in the revised visa rules has no impact on this lower visa fee set in the Visa Facilitation Agreements,” a Spokesperson of the European Commission confirmed for schengenvisainfo.com.
A Visa Facilitation Agreement is a deal reached between the European Union and the government of a third-country the nationals of which need to apply for a visa to the Schengen Area. The main purpose of these agreements is to facilitate visa procedures for the nationals of the particular third country.
Currently, there are three Visa Facilitation Agreements in force that the EU has reached. These are the deals signed with Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia. All three deals foresee a lower visa fee for passport holders of these countries, which is set at €35 per visa application.
As an updated version of the Schengen Visa Code came into Force this February 2, the media reported that the fees will increase for nationals of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia, which is completely untrue.
Yet, the nationals of these countries will still be subject to the other updated rules. This includes:
- Extended period to file a visa application, from three to six months before a trip to the Schengen area.
- Harmonized visa application forms for all Schengen Members. Where possible, these forms will be possible to be completed and signed electronically.
- Benefits of up to five-year valid multiple-entry visas for frequent travelers with a positive visa history.