EU Council Signs Off on Visa-Free for Ukraine
11 May, 2017

The Council of the European Union has announced its decision to adopt a regulation on visa liberalization for Ukrainian citizens travelling to the EU.

This will affect holders of Ukrainian biometric passports travelling to the EU for a period of 90 days in any 180-day period. They will no longer need a visa to travel to the EU for business, tourism or family purposes up to 90 days. However, these measures will not apply to those travelling to Ireland or the United Kingdom.

According to Carmelo Abela, Maltese Minister for Home Affairs and National Secruity, the EU retains the right to suspend liberalization if there are serious migration or security issues in Ukraine.

Abela also said: "The adoption of the regulation on visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens is an important development, which will help strengthen ties between the people of Ukraine and the EU."

The Commission found Ukraine eligible for the exemption of the visa requirement in December 2015 and published the proposal for visa liberalization for Ukrainian citizens on April 20, 2016. The Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the proposal on February 28, 2017.

The next step will be for the Council of the European Parliament to sign the adopted regulation. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will attend the signing ceremony on May 17, 2017.

In his address, Poroshenko claimed that the visa-free regime will take effect around June 11, 2017.