Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Kazakhstan and EU work towards simplified schengen visa process for Kazakh citizens

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Kazakhstan and EU work towards simplified schengen visa process for Kazakh citizens

To strengthen ties and promote ease of travel, Kazakhstan and the European Union are advancing plans to facilitate travel for Kazakh citizens intending to visit EU member states.

Roman Vasilenko, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, expressed optimism about the upcoming measures to simplify the process of obtaining Schengen visas for Kazakh nationals. 

Photo: Kazakhstan emphasizes EU ties for easier travel access
Source: Google Images

 

This announcement was made during a recent meeting of the Cooperation Committee (CC) Republic of Kazakhstan – European Union, which included discussions between Vasilenko and Luc Devigne, the Deputy Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, and the OSCE of the European External Action Service.

“We believe this issue will be resolved soon,” stated Vasilenko.

Kazakhstan’s diplomatic push for easier Schengen visa access stresses the importance of the European Union as one of its primary trading partners, accounting for approximately 30% of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade and a substantial portion of foreign investments. 

Vasilenko highlighted the importance of diversifying trade, particularly by expanding the export of Kazakh products, notably agricultural goods, to EU countries.

The European representatives reassured Kazakhstan that sanctions against Russia would not negatively impact their bilateral relations. Furthermore, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to collaborating on combating climate change, with a focus on Kazakhstan’s ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Photo: Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vasilenko discusses plans for simplified Schengen visas
Source: Google Images

 

Kazakhstan’s efforts to enhance international travel are not limited to the EU. The country has established bilateral agreements on mutual visa-free travel with nearly 20 nations, including several post-Soviet states. These agreements typically allow citizens to stay for varying lengths of time, with some permitted to remain for up to 90 days, contingent upon specific registration requirements. 

Additionally, Kazakhstan has introduced a unilateral visa-free regime for citizens of China, India, and Iran, permitting them to enter and stay in the country for up to 14 days per visit, not exceeding a total of 42 days within a 180-day period.

Despite Kazakhstan’s unilateral introduction of a visa regime for all EU citizens in 2017, Kazakh nationals still need to apply for a Schengen visa to enter EU countries. In light of this, Kazakhstan is urging the EU to streamline the documentation required for Schengen visa applications and increase the approval rate.

Currently, Kazakh citizens applying for a Schengen visa must provide:

  • Proof of accommodation in an EU country
  • A round-trip flight reservation
  • Proof of travel health insurance with a minimum medical coverage of €30,000
  • Proof of payment for the visa fee
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the duration of their stay

 

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