EU Parliament ratifies visa regime simplification with Ukraine

The European Parliament has approved a recommendation to the EU Council sign an agreement on amendments to the visa facilitation agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

Majority of deputies of the European Parliament voted in favor of such decision. The vote took place during the plenary meeting of the European Parliament under the simplified procedure in Strasbourg on Thursday.

The agreement is expected to be signed at the next meeting of the EU Council, approximately, in May.

According to the document, the simplified procedure for issuing visas applies to drivers engaged in international cargo and passenger transportation, journalists and technical staff accompanying them, participants of official exchange programs organized by the local authorities, close relatives, spouses, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren that are visiting Ukrainian citizens living in the EU member states, or EU citizens, as well as citizens that travel to the EU for medical treatment.

A simplified procedure is also introduced for members of public organizations participating in seminars and conferences, participants of international exhibitions, conference, and symposiums, members of religious communities, and participants of official EU programs for cross-border cooperation.

The document stipulates that diplomatic missions and consulates of the EU issue five-year multiple entry to the following categories of people: members of central and local government, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, prosecutors and their deputies, permanent members of official delegations, one of the spouses and children aged under 21 of those who have a valid residence permit in one of the member states, or EU citizens, and businessmen and representatives of business entities who regularly visit EU member states.

European diplomatic missions and consulates also issue one-year multiple entry visas to such categories of people: drivers engaged in international transportation, crewmembers of international trains, refrigerator trains and locomotives, people engaged in scientific, cultural and artistic activities, participants in international sports events and accompanying persons, participants in official exchange programs organized by municipalities, representatives of non-governmental organizations who regularly travel to EU member states, and participants of the EU official programs on border cooperation.

Such visas are issued to these categories of people provided that during the previous year they obtained at least one Schengen visa and used it in line with the laws on entry and staying in the EU.

Source: forUm