UKRAINE – European Council Adopts Schengen Visa Waiver for Ukrainian Nationals
On 11 May 2017, the European Council adopted a proposal on visa liberalisation for Ukrainian nationals, allowing Ukrainians to travel to the Schengen Area without obtaining visas.
Under the visa exemption, Ukrainians who hold a biometric passport will have the right to enter the EU visa-free for 90 days in any 180-day period, for business, tourist or family purposes, but not to work or study.
The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulation. The visa-free regime will then enter into force 20 days after publication, in the Official Journal, of the amendment to Regulation 539/2001 on visa requirements for nationals of non-EU member countries.
The Schengen Area consists of 22 European Union Member States and four non-members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet part of the Schengen Area, but nonetheless have a visa policy that is based on the Schengen area.
The visa waiver does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland which have opted out of the Schengen area.
- Note that nationals of Ukraine will be allowed to travel to the Schengen Area for tourism or business for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa, later this year.