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*Law of Aliens

Published on June 26th, 2018 | by Elpida Tsiaka

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Commission: Amended visa waiver agreements signed with six island countries

On Wednesday 25 April 2018, Matthias Oel, Director for Migration, Mobility and Innovation, signed the amended visa waiver agreements between the EU and Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Mauritius, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Seychelles, together with Mr Krasimir Tsipov, Bulgarian Deputy Minister of the Interior (for the Council Presidency) and the Plenipotentiaries of the six countries.

The amending agreements modify the definition of ‘short stay’ and specify that a visa-free stay is possible for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, rather than three months in a six month period as in the original agreements. The change is necessary in light of the upcoming introduction of the Entry-Exit System, which will also count the length of stay in terms of days, and is part of the EU’s efforts to modernise and strengthen the management of the external border. However, the change does not affect the vast majority of travellers: the amending agreements maintain the basic principle of visa-free travel for nationals of the six countries visiting the EU for short stays, as well as for EU citizens visiting the six countries.

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