Kazakhstan has been added to the list of countries whose citizens will be required to pass additional consultations for the issuance of the Schengen visa, QazMonitor reports.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the information that Kazakhstan has allegedly been blacklisted for Schengen visas.
Aibek Smadiyarov, the spokesperson for the foreign ministry, emphasized that the ministry has not received an official notification on any blacklists from the European Union. However, there have been slight changes included in the application process.
"We were told in working order that from March 1, Kazakhstan will be added to the list of countries whose citizens will from now on be required to have additional consultations when issuing a Schengen visa.”
According to Smadiyarov, the consultations may take up to seven days. The standard term of a general consideration of visa applications remains the same as before – up to 15 days. In practice, no significant changes in the consideration of visa applications for Kazakh citizens are expected.
The list that Kazakhstan has been added to has 40 countries whose citizens are all subjected to additional application stages. The spokesperson stressed that the list is not equivalent to a blacklist.
"[In the list] there are many countries that have close relations with the European Union and with a fairly favorable security situation, such as Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, and Vietnam," he said.
Today, only four out of 27 EU countries are not part of the Schengen zone: Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, and Ireland. The latter has chosen to maintain its own visa policy.
In addition to the EU countries, Schengen includes Iceland, Norway (without Spitsbergen), and Switzerland, as well as Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican.