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Bulgaria and Romania to Commence Issuing Short-Term Schengen Visas from April 1, 2024

Bulgaria and Romania are gearing up to issue short-term Schengen visas to foreign nationals seeking entry into the Schengen Area. Officials from the European Union (EU) have confirmed that both countries will commence issuing Schengen C visas, allowing entry and stays for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, starting from April 1, 2024.

Bulgaria and Romania to Commence Issuing Short-Term Schengen Visas from April 1, 2024

This development is closely tied to the recent decision by the EU Council to grant Bulgaria and Romania partial access to the Schengen Area. The EU Council recently announced the lifting of border controls at air and sea borders with both countries in March, marking a significant step towards integrating them into the Schengen Zone.

The EU Commission emphasized the positive impact of this decision on individuals and businesses, stating, "The EU will welcome Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area, the largest area of free movement in the world. In March 2024, there will be no longer controls at air and sea borders."

While the decision regarding the lifting of land border controls is pending, it is expected to further benefit people and businesses by facilitating free movement through air and sea travel.


The EU Commission had initially confirmed Bulgaria and Romania's readiness to join the Schengen Area back in 2011. Over the years, both nations have consistently demonstrated their fulfillment of necessary conditions, with experts reaffirming their readiness in 2022 and 2023.

To ensure safety and security, Bulgaria and Romania have implemented measures for cooperation in security, policy, and judicial matters, according to the Commission. This expansion marks the ninth enlargement of the Schengen Area, with the overarching goal of enhancing travel, trade, and tourism while strengthening the internal market.

Covering almost 450 million EU citizens and foreign nationals within or visiting the EU, the Schengen Area guarantees free movement. This expansion is expected to boost freedom and convenience for all individuals involved, eliminating border checks within the Schengen Area.



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