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Bulgaria Plans to Issue Schengen Visas to Russian Citizens from April 1

Bulgarian authorities have announced plans to grant Schengen visas to Russian citizens starting April 1, according to reports from the TASS agency. Officials stressed that "applications and subsequent issuance of Schengen visas will begin after April 1, 2024."


Bulgaria Plans to Issue Schengen Visas to Russian Citizens from April 1

Regarding the visa application process, authorities confirmed that work will be carried out by employees of the Bulgarian embassy in Moscow and the consulate general in St. Petersburg.


This decision comes amidst EU sanctions imposed on Russia following the Ukraine invasion, including measures related to visas.


In addition, Bulgaria and Romania are set to commence issuing Schengen C visas from April 1. These visas permit entry and stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.


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Anitta Hipper, European Commission spokesperson for internal affairs, stated previously that from April, "third-country nationals without an EU passport would be subject to time limits within the Schengen Zone."


EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johannson emphasized the importance of resolving border control issues between Bulgaria, Romania, and other member countries before her mandate ends in autumn 2024. Meanwhile, land border accession is expected to be finalized after the European Parliament elections.


The Russian Union of Travel Industry (RST) reported earlier this year that Schengen visa application procedures have become more accessible for Russians. According to RST, Swiss visas are issued on average within two weeks. They noted that proof of hotel payment is required during the application submission process. Despite some countries imposing restrictions on Russian travelers, several nations offer expedited visa processing for Russian nationals.


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