Institutions are improving their information connectivity to speed up the processing of visa documents

09 June 2022

An external portal for electronic consular services is installed in the Serbian cities of Niš and Belgrade

Improving information connectivity between institutions by the end of the year. This was agreed by representatives of the institutions, part of an interagency working group “Optimization of visa regimes” at the Ministry of Tourism. This will contribute to shortening the deadlines for processing the documents for access to the labour market of foreigners under the seasonal employment procedure and will relieve employers in the tourism business.

It is foreseen to start issuing electronic visas in the Schengen Community after 2025. This could become another prerequisite for limiting the competitiveness of our country. That is why Bulgaria will insist to the European institutions to be part of the countries that will join the issuance of electronic visas by the Schengen community in order to increase the tourist flow.

In order to shorten the deadlines and simplify the procedure, it remains to comment at the institutional level a legislative change on the possibility to exclude the Employment Agency from the process of issuing permits to which the Agency has no specific legal relation.

In order to speed up the issuance of documents, an external portal for electronic consular services has already been installed in the Serbian cities of Niš and Belgrade, which is in the final stages of testing, it became clear during the meeting. In order to increase the incoming tourist flow, agreements are signed for the use of an external service provider and optimization of the activities of the consular posts.

In the working group participate representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, the State Agency for National Security, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy - Employment Agency.

Visa policy is one of the main priorities of the Ministry of Tourism, as an important tool to facilitate tourism and business. According to the World Economic Forum, entry visas are “one of the worst bureaucratic bottlenecks for travellers” that can deter people from visiting a destination.

There is some data that countries that have improved visa facilitation processes have seen an increase in international visitor numbers of between 5% and 25%, with a positive economic impact on the overall economy.

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