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Facilitating the issuance of short-stay visas with Russia

The purpose of this agreement between the European Community and Russia is to facilitate the issuance of short-stay visas to the citizens of both parties. It is designed to reduce administrative formalities, speed up processing of visa applications and make visas free of charge for some groups.
Another agreement on readmission of illegals entered into force on the same date.

ACT

2007/340/EC: Council Decision of 19 April 2007 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas.

SUMMARY

This decision concludes the agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation to facilitate on a reciprocal basis the issuance of short-stay visas to citizens of the European Union (EU) and the Russian Federation for intended stays of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days.

The agreement between the European Community and Russia and a protocol to the agreement concerning the Member States that do not fully apply the Schengen arrangements are annexed to the decision.

Content of the agreement

For the categories of citizen indicated below, the following documents constitute sufficient justification of their journey to the other Party:

  • for members of official delegations, an official invitation to take part in a meeting and a letter issued by an authority of a Member State or of the Russian Federation confirming that the individual concerned is a member of its delegation;
  • for drivers engaged in international cargo and passenger transportation between the European Community and Russia, a written request from the national association of carriers of Russia or a national association of carriers of a Member State;
  • for business people, a written invitation from a host legal person, company or organisation;
  • for journalists, a certificate issued by a professional organisation proving that the person concerned is a qualified journalist and a document issued by his/her employer stating that the purpose of the journey is to carry out journalistic work;
  • for participants in international sports events and the persons accompanying them, a written invitation from the host organisation;
  • for close relatives, a written invitation from the host person;
  • for participants in scientific, cultural and artistic activities, a written invitation from the host organisation to participate in those activities;
  • for pupils, students and accompanying teachers, a written invitation or certificate of enrolment from the host primary school or university.

Diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Member States and of Russia issue multiple-entry visas valid for up to:

  • 5 years to members of national and regional governments and parliaments, constitutional and supreme courts, and spouses and children of EU or Russian citizens who regularly visit Russia or the EU respectively;
  • 1 year to members of official delegations, business people, drivers engaged in international cargo and passenger transportation between the Russian Federation and the Member States, participants in international sporting events, participants in scientific, cultural and artistic events, and journalists. Validity can be extended for a period ranging from 2 to 5 years, subject to certain conditions.

The fee for processing visa applications is 35. The fee is waived for the following categories:

  • the applicant's close relatives, spouse and children;
  • members of official delegations;
  • members of national and regional governments and parliaments, constitutional courts and supreme courts;
  • pupils, students and accompanying teachers;
  • disabled persons and the person accompanying them;
  • participants in international sporting events;
  • participants in scientific, cultural and artistic activities;
  • persons who have presented documents proving that they need to travel on humanitarian grounds.

Diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Member States must take a decision on visa applications within ten calendar days of receiving the application and the requisite documents. This may be extended to 30 days when further scrutiny of the application is needed.

Citizens of the European Union and of Russia whose identity documents are lost or stolen in the course of their stay may leave the territory of the host state on presentation of valid identity documents issued by a diplomatic mission or consular post of the Member States or of the Russian Federation.

Background

In a joint statement adopted on the occasion of the St Petersburg Summit on 31 May 2003, the European Union and the Russian Federation agreed to examine the conditions for visa-free travel in a long-term perspective. In a statement on EU enlargement and EU-Russia relations agreed on 27 April 2004, they confirmed their intention to facilitate visa issuance to their citizens and to launch negotiations with a view to concluding an agreement. On the day that this agreement was concluded, 19 April 2007, a readmission agreement was also concluded.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 2007/340/EC--OJ L 129 of 17.5.2007
Last updated: 16.06.2007
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