MOLDOVA Moldovan Nationals Now Visa Free for Short Stay Travel into the Schengen Area
Nationals of the Republic of Moldova holding a biometric passport and entering the Schengen area for short business or tourist travel no longer need visas.
What Has Changed?
Moldovan nationals previously required a Schengen C visa issued by a consular post of a Schengen member country to enter the region for short stays. As of 28 April 2014 this is no longer in place for biometric passport holders. Holders of non-biometric travel documents will still need to apply for a visa.
Moldova lifted the visa obligation for European Union (EU) citizens on 1 January 2007 and Moldovan citizens have benefited from a Visa Facilitation Agreement (VFA) with the EU since 1 January 2008. The VFA meant lower visa fees, simplified application procedures and extended visa validity. A Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) has been in place since 2011 to implement benchmarks which had to be achieved by Moldova, before short stay Schengen C visa requirements could be abolished for citizens of the country travelling into the Schengen area.
On 27 February 2014 the European Parliament approved the proposal (STATEMENT/14/20) and the Council of the EU adopted the revised Regulation in mid March. The amendment of Regulation 539/2001 was finally signed on 3 April, allowing for the transfer of the Republic of Moldova to the list of third countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa requirement, the final formal step in the procedure which has gone into effect as of yesterday.
What is the Schengen Area?
The Schengen Area member countries, to which Moldovan nationals will now have access for business or tourist stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period, are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
- Note that Moldovan nationals who hold a biometric passport and want to travel to the Schengen zone for short business trips now no longer need visas.