The European Commission suggests the EU Council signing the changes to the Agreement between the European Community and Ukraine on the facilitation of the issuance of visas, the proposal for a Council Decision of July 5 this year says.

The proposal notes that the parties began negotiations on amending the agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visas on May 6, 2011, and in February this year, the final text of the amending Agreement was initialed by the chief negotiators.

The new changes stipulates the simplified requirements for documents to be presented regarding the purpose of the journey for drivers conducting international cargo and passenger transportation services and journalists; members of the technical crew accompanying journalists; close relatives of EU citizens residing in the territory of the Member State of which they are nationals, accompanying persons visiting for medical reasons; representatives of civil society organizations undertaking trips for the purposes of educational training, etc.; representatives of religious communities, and participants in official EU cross-border cooperation programs.

The new proposals as well introduce clarification of the provisions on the period of validity of multiple-entry visas.

Thus, the multiple-entry visas valid for five years shall be issued for the members of national and regional Governments and Parliaments, Constitutional Courts and Supreme Courts, national and regional prosecutors and their deputies; spouses and children (including adopted), who are under the age of 21 or are dependant, and parents visiting citizens of Ukraine legally residing in the territory of the Member States or citizens of the European Union residing in the territory of the Member State of which they are nationals; business people and representatives of business organizations who regularly travel to the Member States.

Moreover, the multiple-entry visas valid for five years shall be issued for the national and regional prosecutors and their deputies; spouses, children and parents visiting citizens of the European Union residing in the territory of the Member State of which they are nationals and the technical crew accompanying journalists in a professional capacity.

The multiple-entry visas valid for one year shall be issued for drivers conducting international cargo and passenger transportation services, members of international trains, persons participating in scientific, cultural, artistic and sports activities, participants in international sports  events, representatives of civil society organizations travelling regularly to Member States for the purposes of educational training, seminars,  conferences and  representatives of the religious communities.
The proposal also provides for the exemption from the visa requirement for short stays for the citizens of Ukraine who are holders of biometric service passports.

As reported, the EU-Ukraine visa-free dialogue began on October 29, 2008.

On November 22, 2010 the EU granted Ukraine the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization, which involves legislative changes, the ratification of international instruments and the proper implementation of these decisions in practice.

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