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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

European Union opens doors to 16 island nations

Nationals from 16 small island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific regions, the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Colombia will now be able to come to the Schengen area of the European Union without a visa.
Commissioner of the European Parliament has confirmed that it has voted in favour of visa-free travel for the nationals of 19 countries.
"I am pleased that once the necessary procedures are completed. This will open up opportunities and advantages also for EU citizens, as any existing visa requirement for EU citizens to travel to these countries will be eliminated," Cecilia Malmstrom, commissioner for home affairs said.
Malmstrom added, "The solution found to include Peru and Colombia on the visa-free list is a good result. It strikes the right balance between the desire to offer visa-free travel to Peruvian and Colombian nationals and the need to avoid migratory risks and safeguard the security of the EU. In this regard, the Commission is committed to prepare the necessary additional assessment for Peru and Colombia as soon as possible."
In November 2012, the Commission proposed to add 5 Caribbean Island Nations (Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago), 10 Pacific Island Nations (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu), and Timor-Leste to the list of third countries and territories whose nationals are exempt from the visa obligation.
Certain categories of British citizens who are not nationals of the UK in particular British overseas territories citizens were also included in the visa-free proposal.

Source: Times of India