EU, US ministers discuss visa waiver for citizens of five EU countries, including Bulgaria

US and European Union justice and home affairs ministers have held talks in Washington DC on a number of issues, including the EU wanting exemption from US visa requirements for five countries in the bloc, Bulgaria among them.

Of the current 28 EU member states, citizens of 23 may visit the US visa-free. The five exceptions are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.

“The United States and the European Union agreed on the importance of advancing towards reciprocal visa free travel under their respective legal frameworks and, following the most recent tripartite meeting on visa reciprocity, welcomed the progress of the five concerned member states towards meeting the statutory requirements of the Visa Waiver Program, in order to be considered for designation in the programme,” a joint EU-US statement after the meeting said.

Participants in the meeting included acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, and cabinet ministers from Austria and Romania, representing their countries’ EU Presidencies.

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(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)