European Commission proposes visa-free travel for citizens of Ukraine

Written by on April 20, 2016 in Europe - Comments Off on European Commission proposes visa-free travel for citizens of Ukraine

The European Commission said on April 20 2016 that it was proposing to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to lift visa requirements for the citizens of Ukraine by transferring Ukraine to the list of countries whose citizens can travel without a visa to the Schengen area.

This proposal comes after the Commission gave a positive assessment last December, confirming that Ukraine successfully met all benchmarks under the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP).

Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, said: “Today we follow up on our commitment to propose short-stay visa-free travel to the EU for Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports – facilitating people-to-people contacts and strengthening business, social and cultural ties between the EU and Ukraine.

“This is the result of the success of the Ukrainian government in achieving far-reaching and difficult reforms in the Justice and Home Affairs area and beyond, impacting on areas such as the rule of law and justice reform. I am very satisfied with the progress achieved, it is an important achievement for the citizens of Ukraine, and I hope that the European Parliament and the Council will adopt our proposal very soon,” Avramopoulos said.

Once the proposal will be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports will no longer require visas when travelling for short stays of up to 90 days to the Schengen area.

The visa-free travel will apply to all EU member states except for Ireland and the UK, as well as the four Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

The exemption concerns only short-stay visas valid for up to 90 days of travel in any 180-day period for business, tourist or family purposes. The visa exemption does not provide for the right to work in the EU.

Other entry conditions for accessing the Schengen area will continue to apply, including the need to be able to prove sufficient financial means and the purpose of the travel.

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