On October 18 in Brussels the Armenian Representative to the EU, Ambassador Avet Adonts and Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for Home Affairs at the European Commission signed a preliminary deal on visa facilitation and readmission between Armenia and the European Union. The document is expected to be inked in December 2012 and enter the stage of ratification in the first half of 2013.
The Visa Facilitation agreement provide for lower visa fee for all citizens, fee waivers for certain categories (e.g. family members, pensioners), a maximum processing time of 10 calendar days, simplified supporting document requirements, wider issuance of multiple-entry visas for certain categories (e.g. business people), visa-free travel for holders of diplomatic passports and enhanced mobility in a secured and well-managed environment. The cost of Shengen visas will be cut to €35.
The Readmission Agreement provides for reciprocal obligations on the contracting parties to readmit their national and also, under certain conditions, third country nationals and stateless persons which are in an irregular situation on the territory of the other party. The agreements also set out in detail the operational and technical criteria for this process.