ArmInfo.The decision to start a dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime, the negotiation process, and its completion is a rather long process. French Ambassador to Armenia Jonathan Lacote told a press conference in Yerevan on December 12.
He noted that the dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime is a separate process, not related to the signed Armenia-EU agreement on a comprehensive and expanded partnership. "The decision to start a dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime is part of the style of the work of the European Union, the important issue here is the satisfaction of all the necessary requirements and conditions that will subsequently lead to a simplification of the visa regime, but I would like to emphasize that the process should begin soon on this issue in the country applicant than in Brussels, "concluded Lacote.
Note that on December 17, 2012, an agreement was signed to simplify the visa regime between Armenia and the EU, which entered into force on January 1, 2014. This was the first stage of the process to liberalize the visa regime between Armenia and the EU. The agreement accelerated the procedure for issuing visas to consulates of the European Union countries based in Yerevan. Now the decision to grant a visa is taken within ten days, and in emergency cases - within two or less days. In addition, the agreement provides for a reduction in the list of documents necessary for obtaining a visa.
The price of the visa after the signing of the agreement was reduced to thirty-five euros against the sixty euros that tourists gave before the ratification of the agreement. Another important plus of the simplified visa regime is a free visa, which is provided to children under the age of twelve, as well as to the disabled and their accompanying persons. This document assumes the introduction of a simplified procedure for obtaining visas for entry into the Schengen area for members of official delegations, journalists, businessmen, scientists, athletes, schoolchildren and students, close relatives of EU citizens, and people who are sent to the European Union for treatment.
Participants in various international conferences, exchange programs and other public events of international character will also be able to obtain visas under a simplified regime. In general, the list of various categories of the population who will have the opportunity to visit the EU under a simplified scheme is quite extensive. Facilitated and the process of providing multivies, which was previously unnecessarily complex and lengthy. And citizens of Armenia with diplomatic passports are completely exempted from the need to obtain a visa.
The simplification of the visa issuance scheme also affected the terms of stay of Armenian citizens in the territory of the EU countries. Now this period is ninety days in each period of one hundred and eighty days. At the same time, an agreement on readmission was also signed. The Armenian leadership has repeatedly stated that it is time to start the second stage of negotiations on the liberalization of the visa regime, but this issue has not yet moved from the dead end.