April’s Visa-Free Digest 2018

A comprehensive analysis of last month’s changes to visa-free travel across the globe.

Planning your next trip abroad? You will find this Visa-Free Digest especially helpful if you’re about to travel to or from these countries and territories:

EUROPENamed relevant countries: Armenia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, Macedonia, Qatar, Kosovo, Montenegro, Russia, North Korea, Macedonia, Taiwan
CARIBBEAN Name relevant countries: St Kitts and Nevis, Moldova
MIDDLE EASTNamed relevant countries: United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan
ASIANamed relevant countries: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
AFRICANamed relevant countries: Kenya, Mozambique

Check our March’s Visa-Free Digest for more updates.


Europe

On 5 March, Armenia announced the inauguration of a 180-day visa-free travel regime for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea, to come into force on 19 March 2018. “Unilateral visa abolition for these countries will create favourable conditions for the development of bilateral economic ties as well as will increase in tourist flow to Armenia,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan.

On 7 March, Serbia’s Foreign Minister, Ivica Dačić, announced that Serbia and Georgia would soon see the liberalisation of travel for their nationals. The announcement came after Minister Dačić penned an agreement on visa-free travel with counterpart Mikheil Janelidze in Belgrade.

On 16 March, the French Ambassador to Georgia, Pascal Meunier, noted that Georgians may risk their visa-free travel rights to the European Union’s Schengen Area should the number of asylum applications on the part of Georgians continue to rise. “It is possible that due to such actions, sanctions will be imposed on Georgia and the suspension mechanism can be applied to the visa liberalisation agreement,” said Ambassador Meunier.

On 22 March, Georgia and Belarus signed an agreement to secure visa-free travel for their citizens. A previous agreement saw Belarus listed as one of 24 countries whose citizens could enter Georgia without a visa. This new, bilateral agreement was intended to further strengthen ties between the two nations.

On 16 March, the Ukraine launched a temporary visa-free entry regime for citizens of Macedonia. The regime is due to remain in force until 15 March 2019, and allows entry for up to 90 days in every 180-day period. The visa-free regime serves as a continuation of a previous provisional visa-free regime commenced in February 2015 and ended on 15 March 2018.

On 20 March, the Ukraine and Qatar agreed to establish a visa-free regime for ordinary travellers looking to remain in each other’s territories for a period of up to 90 days every 180 days.

On 21 March, Kosovo ratified a border agreement with Montenegro – a precondition to Kosovo establishing visa-free entry rights for its citizens to the European Union. “Kosovo now waits for the EU to do its part, as it was promised, so that finally Kosovo citizens can freely travel to the EU as other Europeans,” said Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj.

On 22 March, Russia called on North Korea to simplify its visa requirements for Russian citizens. Aleksandr Galushka, Russia’s Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East, said: “This year, our diplomatic relations mark the 70th anniversary… Tourism may become one of the new growth areas of bilateral cooperation.”

On 29 March, Macedonia extended its temporary visa-free travel regime for citizens of Taiwan for one year. Andrew Lee, spokesman for the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Taiwan was exploring ways of reciprocating the move.

Caribbean

On 2 March, St Kitts and Nevis signed a mutual visa-waiver agreement with Moldova, applying to all holders of diplomatic, official, service and ordinary passports. The agreement envisions one stay of up to 90 days, or multiple entries for a period of up to 90 days during any 180-day period. St Kitts and Nevis and Moldova established diplomatic relations on 8 September 2017.

Middle East

Starting from 10 March, the United Arab Emirates opened its doors to visa-free travel for citizens of Kazakhstan. Kazakhs will be able to remain in the Emirates for a period of up to 30 days. The move followed an agreement signed between the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan on 23 May 2017.

Asia

On 16 March, the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, signed an order allowing visa-free travel for citizens of Tajikistan. The order follows an agreement between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan signed on 9 March 2018, and envisioning 30-day visa-free travel for holders of ordinary passports. In turn, the Tajik Parliament ratified the agreement on 19 March 2018.

Africa

On 29 March, Kenya announced that citizens of Mozambique would no longer need to receive a visa-on-arrival to travel to Kenya for a period of up to three months, but that they could instead enter visa-free. The announcement was made by President Uhuru Kenyatta at a state banquet held by President Filipe Nyusi at the Ponta Vermelha Palace in Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo.