Tuesday, November 13, 2012

European Union may open up to OT travellers

(CNS): The European Commission has proposed adding five Caribbean Island Nations, 10 Pacific Island Nations and specific categories of British citizens currently under visa obligations that reside in some of Britain’s overseas territories to the list of third countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa obligation.

It is now up to the European Parliament and to the Council of the European Union to make a final decision on the Commission proposal. This would mean easier travel to and from the various destinations as the countries included on the list would be expected to reciprocate, making it easier for Europeans to travel to the Caribbean and the various territories.

The move is aimed at simplifying travel and nationals from the countries would no longer require a visa for short stays of up to 90 days if they have a relevant passport for business or pleasure.

"Traveling without a visa is not just a symbolic gesture - it will have a direct impact on citizens of these countries and on EU citizens, in the form of more people-to-people contacts and business opportunities," said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

In addition to the UK’s overseas territories, the list of proposed countries includes Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu and Timor-Leste. More