Schengen visas to EU countries will be free for religious leaders of Ukraine
BRUSSELS – The Treaty on the amendments to the Agreement between the European Community and Ukraine on the facilitation of the issuance of visas was signed on July 23, reports the Institute for Religious Freedom.
The document was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Erato Kozakou-Markullis.
"Ukraine has taken another important step towards visa-free regime with the European Union", – said the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
When the Agreement will come into force it will provide long-term, multiple and free visas for members of public and religion organizations, representatives of professional associations involved in international forums, conferences and international exchange programs. This right is already provided for journalists, students and entrepreneurs.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, by now there will be greater transparency in the process of obtaining visas, guaranteeing the right of all interested persons to submit visa applications directly to the Embassy and Consulates of EU Member States (without the involvement of intermediaries like visa agencies).
Supplement to the Agreement between Ukraine and the EU also clarifies the validity of multiple and long-term visas – for 1 year and 5 years instead of, respectively, up to 1 year and up to 5 years.
Signed Treaty on the amendments to the Agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visas between Ukraine and the EU will enter into force after ratification by the Parliament of Ukraine and the internal coordination in the EU. This was stated at the briefing by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleksandr Dykusarov.
Translation by Svitlana Sydorenko
© 2012 The Institute for Religious Freedom – Kyiv, Ukraine