Home Travel & Adventure Bulgaria to Commence Granting Schengen Visas to Russians Effective April 1st

Bulgaria to Commence Granting Schengen Visas to Russians Effective April 1st


Authorities in Bulgaria plan to issue Schengen visas to Russian citizens starting from April 1.

Announcing the new decision, Bulgarian authorities have stressed that the waiting time in line for processing documents will be the same as in other Schengen Zone countries, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

The information was confirmed to journalists from the TASS agency, emphasising that “applications and subsequent issuance of Schengen visas will begin after April 1, 2024”.

The same source reveals that work documents will be carried out by employees of the Bulgarian embassy in Moscow and the consulate general in St.Petersburg.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the EU imposed sanctions on Russia, considered among the harshest in recent years, among them sanctions related to visas as well.

Bulgaria to Issue Schengen Visas From April

Starting from April 1, Bulgaria and Romania will start issuing Schengen C visas that permit entry and stay in the borderless area of Schengen for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

The decision comes following Bulgaria and Romania’s partial accession by air and sea that will take effect on March 31, thus lifting the requirement of passport controls. However, passport controls will remain valid for land borders travel.

Earlier this year, the European Commission spokesperson for internal affairs, Anitta Hipper, told RFE/RL that from April, third-country nationals without an EU passport would consider the time spent in the Schengen Zone.

As for land border accession, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said he expects land border accession to be finished after the elections for the European Parliament.

In addition, the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johannson, recently stressed that from March 31, both Balkan countries will have to implement all Schengen Agreements.

For me, it remains a top priority that the border control between Bulgaria and Romania and the other member countries be resolved before the end of my mandate (in the autumn of 2024).

EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johannson

Earlier this year, the Russian Union of Travel Industry (RST), based on data from tour operators, said the application procedures for a Schengen Visa has become easier for Russians.

You can get a Swiss visa the fastest, it is issued on average in two weeks. When submitting documents, you must keep in mind that the Swiss require proof of payment from the hotel.

Russian Union of Travel Industry (RST)

The same noted that aside from countries that have introduced restrictions on Russian travellers, there are some other countries that issue visas to nationals of Russians within shorter periods.

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