ASTANA – The European Union made no significant changes to the Schengen visa application procedure for Kazakh citizens and did not place Kazakhstan on a “black list”, according to a March 1 statement from the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan.
“As a general rule, a decision to issue a Schengen visa is taken by the respective consulate of the member state of the EU within 15 days. This rule will continue to apply to Kazakhstan,” reads the statement. The announcement follows news that a consultation procedure has been introduced for Kazakhstan from March 1. This led to incorrect reports by some Kazakh media outlets that Kazakhstan has been included in a “Schengen black list”. This was refuted by Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov at a press briefing on Feb. 27.
Despite the introduction of additional consultations, the applicants will not face significant delays.
“This period may be extended up to 45 days in exceptional individual cases, which require a more detailed examination of applications and/or additional documents. This has always applied to all applicants regardless of citizenship and is only used in exceptional cases,” the statement adds.
The statement confirmed that there are no “black lists” in the Schengen Information System (SIS), which is used by Schengen member states to consult each other.
The rules defined by the European Commission apply to approximately 40 countries that have close relations with the EU and a fairly favorable security situation. They are subject to a standard prior consultation procedure as outlined in the Visa Code.
“The introduction of a prior consultation procedure for Kazakhstan within the Schengen visa system has nothing to do with the overall excellent relations between the EU and Kazakhstan, which continue their dynamic development in many different areas of mutual interest,” concludes the EU statement.