Schengen visas and migration to the EU: Belarus as a 'backward leader’. Andrei Yeliseyeu. Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) www.belinstitute.eu. Visa statistics (2006-2012).
Schengen visas and migration to the EU: Belarus as a 'backward leader’
Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS)
Number of visas (ths) issued by the EU states consulates in Belarus. Since 2008, Schengen visas A,B,C categories (LTV and national visas, GB, IR, RO, BG excluded)
Before 2008, a visa fee for a one-entry Polish and Lithuanian national visas was as low as EUR 5, Latvian national visas were issued gratis.
Since late 2007, visa fees for Schengen visas increased up to EUR60.
PL and LT consulates
Refusals, 2012, %:HU — 0,11%SK — 0,09%CZ — 3,33%PL — 0,36%
Multi-visas 2012, %:HU — 23,4%SK — 30,19%CZ — 12,59%PL — 66,7%
The best result among the third countries that still have visa regime with the EU. Belarus is also leading in a share of multi-entry Schengen visas among the EP countries
One of the lowest rate in the world, follows only after Oman, Bahrain and Trinidad and Tobago.
A meagre % of visa refusals makes illegal border crossing for Belarusians irrational
Ratio of refusals of entry into the EU on account of inadequate means of subsistence
to the total number of refusals
In 2011, nationals of Belarus accounted for 20.5% of the total number of EU entry refusals for financial reasons to all third country nationals. Polish border authorities account for 95% of entry refusals to Belarusians for financial reasons.
■ 50% surge in refugee applications in the crisis 2011 year (devaluation 172%, inflation 108.7%);
■ No correlation with changes in visa procedures (no drop in 2008), but rather with an economic welfare;
■ Half of applications lodged in the Scandinavian countries and Netherlands, only a small amount in the neighboring countries;
■ Low level of grounded applications (in 2011, of 845 first instance decisions on asylum applications lodged by Belarusians, 130 were positive. Yet 90 decisions were positive among more than 400 final decisions).
Labor Force Survey launched in 2011 but results are not public
Labor force = 6 mln,
Economically active population = 4 mln 600 th,
Unemployed = around 6% = circa 200 th search for a job at a local labor market,
Economically inactive population (females aged 16 to 54, males aged 16 to 59) = 6 mln - 4 mln 600 th - 200 th = 1 mln 200 th.
Of those, more than 300 th are senior pupils and full-time students,
plus employed in a grey market and those that don't search for a job. Roughly,300 th are labor migrants in Russia.
Western labor markets are not that attractive for nohighly-skilled specialists as the Russian market.
Number of permanent emigrants is a separate story.
Money transfers by natural persons to Belarus, 2011
Personal transfers to Belarus, 2008-2012
Decrease in overall population since 1994 of more than half a mln
But labor force was on constant rise until 2008
Period of 'demographic bonus' until 2008 opened as a consequence of change in age structure
Demographic burden in 2007-2008 was virtually the lowest in post-war history of Belarus
Number of depended population per 1000 indivuduals in working age
Demographic burden is in constant rise since 2008, shortage of certain specialties will be becoming more acute
Belarusian citizens, permanent inhabitants in the EU states
Concerning Poland, plus 50 th. Belarusians hold 'Karta Polaka' (even more national long-term visas are issued annually by Polish consulates)