News archive - EU and Western Balkans Countries sign visa deal

Visa facilitation and readmission agreements between the EU and all Western Balkan countries were signed on September 18, 2007 which will make it easier for citizens of the WBCs to acquire short stay visas.

The Visa Facilitation agreements make it possible to maintain the visa handling fee of EUR 35 instead of EUR 60 for all Western Balkan citizens and provide a total exemption from the visa fee for certain categories of applicants. Furthermore, for certain categories of persons, e.g. businessmen, students and journalists, the necessary support documents for a visa application are simplified. For certain categories of frequent travellers it is possible to issue multi-entry visas with long periods of validity. Finally, holders of diplomatic passports are exempted from the visa obligation.

The agreements on Readmission set out clear obligations and procedures for the authorities of both the Western Balkan countries and of EU Member States as to when and how to take back people who are illegally residing on the territories covered by the agreements.
The deals with Albania, Bosnia, FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are expected to come into force in January. The agreements will only apply to the Schengen border-free area, which currently includes 15 EU countries, but is likely to be joined by nine more by the end of the year.

EU citizens are already exempt from the visa obligation by the Western Balkan countries.

Source: Financial Mirror Website, BBC Website,

Entry created by Elke Dall on September 18, 2007
Modified on September 18, 2007