EU visa-free travel for Ukraine comes into force on June 11
On June 11, the decision of the Council of the European Union to introduce a visa-free regime for short trips of Ukrainian citizens to 30 countries of the European Union and Schengen zone came into force.
A visa-free regime allows Ukrainians who have a biometric passport of a citizen of Ukraine to stay and freely travel across Europe for no more than 90 days during any 180-day period.
From now on, Ukrainians can travel to Europe for tourism, visiting relatives, search for business partners, attending seminars, conferences, concerts, music and theater festivals, sports competitions, beach recreation.
Every traveling citizen of Ukraine, regardless of age, even up to 16 years, must have a biometric passport if he plans to enter the EU territory on a visa-free basis. In case a person should stay in the EU for a long time, more than 90 days, he should apply for a visa. At the same time, the visa-free regime does not apply to economic, commercial activities, employment, contract work, etc. In this case, a person must apply to the consular offices of the EU member states for working visa.
Although it is forbidden to work in the EU without a visa, a person can quite legally look for work due to the visa-free status. A visa is not required to go to interviews, communicate directly with the employer, get acquainted with the working conditions in the company before the consent to work is given. A visa-free regime allows studying in the EU in the framework of short-term programs lasting no more than 90 days.
For a longer period of study, a person will have to apply for a special visa, but short internships, courses, seminars, participation in scientific conferences, as well as the choice of a university or college – all this becomes available without a visa.
When entering the EU countries, a Ukrainian citizen must have documents confirming the purpose of the trip, the place of residence, the availability of sufficient financial means for this period of stay and the intention to return to the place of permanent residence. In addition, Ukrainian citizens must have a health insurance policy for visa-free border crossing, and the vehicle owner's liability insurance policy in case of traveling by car.
Thanks to the introduction of a visa-free regime, Ukrainians are allowed to travel without visas to 30 countries in Europe. In particular, these are 22 countries of the European Union that are members of the Schengen zone: Austria, Belgium, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, France, the Czech Republic and Sweden.
In addition, these are four EU member states that are members of the Schengen area but have not yet withdrawn control on their internal borders: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Croatia. Also, these are four other states that are not included in the EU but are parties to the Schengen agreement – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
In addition, visa requirements for Ukrainian travelers will be removed by those countries and territories that now require Ukrainians to have a Schengen visa or those that can only be entered by transit through the member states of the Schengen agreement, for example, Monaco or the Vatican.
Visa-free travel does not apply to travel to the UK and Ireland, which conduct their own migration policies. Ukrainians still need visas to visit these two countries. The need to get visas also applies to the non-European territories of France and the Netherlands. The European Union upholds the position that citizens of Ukraine living in occupied Crimea and having biometric passports can enjoy the visa-free regime on a par with other Ukrainians.
Also, Ukrainians who live in uncontrolled territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions who have received biometric passports of Ukrainian citizens will be able to travel to Europe without visas on equal terms with residents of other regions of the country.