The Council of the European Union has approved the amended EU-Ukraine visa facilitation agreement, Ukraine’s commissioner on foreign policy and integration processes and representative to the EU, Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, has said, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

“Just a few minutes ago I received positive news from Brussels. The Council of the European Union has approved the ratification of the amended visa facilitation agreement,” Yeliseyev said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday.

Yeliseyev said that Ukraine was working to speed up the implementation of relevant domestic procedures.

“I hope that this amended agreement on the simplified procedure for issuing visas will come into force on July 1 of this year,” he said.

In this case, Ukrainian will be able to make use of this document during the summer holidays, he added.

Yeliseyev promised that they would ensure that consular institutions of the European Union in Kyiv fully comply with standards of this important agreement.

“We will not stop there. Our priority is a visa-free regime, and we will be working on this,” he stressed.

As reported, on April 18, the European Parliament gave the green light to the entry into force of an agreement on amendments to the visa facilitation agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
The agreement is expected to come into force on July 1, 2013.

According to the document, the simplified procedure for issuing visas applies to drivers engaged in international cargo and passenger transportation, journalists and technical staff accompanying them, participants of official exchange programs organized by the local authorities, close relatives, spouses, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren that are visiting Ukrainian citizens living in the EU member states, or EU citizens, as well as citizens that travel to the EU for medical treatment.
A simplified procedure is also introduced for members of public organizations participating in seminars and conferences, participants of international exhibitions, conference, and symposiums, members of religious communities, and participants of official EU programs for cross-border cooperation.

The document stipulates that diplomatic missions and consulates of the EU issue five-year multiple entry to the following categories of people: members of central and local government, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, prosecutors and their deputies, permanent members of official delegations, one of the spouses and children aged under 21 of those who have a valid residence permit in one of the member states, or EU citizens, and businessmen and representatives of business entities who regularly visit EU member states.

European diplomatic missions and consulates also issue one-year multiple entry visas to such categories of people: drivers engaged in international transportation, crewmembers of international trains, refrigerator trains and locomotives, people engaged in scientific, cultural and artistic activities, participants in international sports events and accompanying persons, participants in official exchange programs organized by municipalities, representatives of non-governmental organizations who regularly travel to EU member states, and participants of the EU official programs on border cooperation.

Such visas are issued to these categories of people provided that during the previous year they obtained at least one Schengen visa and used it in line with the laws on entry and staying in the EU.



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