Dhaka: On June 27, schengenvisainfo.com posted a list of 54 countries that the European Union has chosen to be eligible for Schengen visa as they reopen their borders in July 1. Bangladesh was not included in the list.
However, the current "ineligibility" only applies to new applicants, not those who, per say, already have multiple Schengen visas valid for the next five years.
On an inquiry, Granit Sadiku, Deputy Editor, SchengenVisaInfo, informed The Bangladesh Monitor about this today.
Meaning, no new applicant from Bangladesh is eligible to enter Schengen countries once the EU reopens its borders by early July for travel. Only new applicants from the 54 countries will benefit from the reopening of the EU external borders.
Also, EU officials said that the list will be updated according to the epidemiological situation and coronavirus response in each country, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU.
The commission also recommended that the member states should start allowing third-country nationals to enter the EU starting from July 1, gradually and partially, based on the epidemiological situation in each third-country.
Meaning, Bangladesh will likely be considered "eligible" for Schengen visa again once the "epidemiological situation" in the country gets better.
Schengen refers to the EU passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries, and allows a person to travel to any member of the Schengen area using a short-stay visa. There are no border controls within the Schengen Zone.
Only two South Asian countries – India and Bhutan – made the list. Besides, Bangladesh's neighbouring country Myanmar as well as Thailand and Vietnam from Southeast Asia also made the cut as countries eligible for Schengen visa.
Reports said that EU officials failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would definitely be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening but managed to create a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation, the citizens of which will be able to enter Europe by the end of this next week.
Countries like Brazil, Qatar, the US and Russia will only be able to enter Europe at a later date when the epidemiological situation in these countries improves, the reports further stated.
Nationals of the following countries are listed in this draft list to be eligible for Schengen visas: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia.