Poland alone annually issues about 400 thousand Schengen visas for the citizens of Belarus.
Poland has canceled shopping visas, but this is not a problem. Since January 2, Polish diplomatic platforms have suspended the issuance of the most popular visa. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland says that the changes are technical in nature and will in no way affect the number of travel permits to the West. Warsaw is interested in continuing to remain as open as possible for Belarusians, Polish diplomats say. What else was prepared for Belarusians in Poland?
The beginning of the new year brought news for those who love shopping outside the western border. Poland canceled the shopping visa, which was most favorite visa among Belarusians. The Polish authorities claim that the ruling is technical in nature and there is no reason to panic.
“Poland annually issues about 400 thousand Schengen visas for the citizens of Belarus. This is the largest figure of all European countries. This is almost half of all visas of the European Union, which Belarusians receive,” says Marcin Wojciechowski, Counselor of the Polish Embassy in Belarus, to Belsat.
The interlocutor notes: official Warsaw seeks to continue this trend in the future, so that Poland remains as open as possible for all of us. The changes are caused by the need to harmonize the Warsaw rules with other European countries. If earlier it was enough to declare a desire to go shopping, now there are new requirements.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland responded to our request:
“Citizens of Belarus will still be able to get short-term visas such as type C. Citizens of Belarus will not even feel the changes when they receive visas. In accordance with the single list of documents, the innovation will be a hotel reservation in Poland or room rental for the entire stay. ”
Together with the abolition of visas for shopping, Warsaw from January 1 also changed the rules for issuing working visas in the direction of even greater liberalization. Polish employers can now invite foreigners for seasonal work for nine months, for example, in agriculture, in the hotel business or in the agro-tourism sector. In this case, it is enough only to submit a statement of the future employer; a special work permit is not required. In the Polish Embassy in Minsk, Belsat was told that the situation with the abolition of a visa for shopping does not look critical, all the changes became known before the new year.
“At the very beginning there were questions, but now that the information has already been distributed to the media, people calmly submit documents, those who were not aware of the changes have time to add the necessary documents to the visa package,” notes Marcin Wojciechowski .
The number of visas issued by Poland to Belarusians is growing. 398 thousand in 2016 and already 418 thousand in 2017. The cost of a Schengen visa is now 60 euros, and if the prices for visas had decreased, it may well be that the Belarusians would set a new record in obtaining permits to go to the European Union. But so far the issue of prices depends on the number of employees of the Polish consulates in Belarus. Here, the official Minsk does not want to meet halfway.