December’s Visa-Free Digest

A Comprehensive Analysis of Last Month’s Changes to Visa-Free Travel Across the Globe.

Andorra Estonia Lithuania Suriname
Argentina France Micronesia Sweden
Bolivia Germany Myanmar Thailand
Bosnia and Herzegovina Greece Namibia Tonga
Brazil Guyana Oman Tunisia
Brunei Indonesia Peru Ukraine
Cambodia Israel Philippines United Arab Emirates
Canada Kazakhstan Russia United States
China Kiribati Rwanda Uruguay
Colombia Kosovo Samoa Vanuatu
Cyprus Laos Singapore Venezuela
Democratic Republic of Congo Latvia Solomon Islands Vietnam
England Libya St Vincent and the Grenadines Zambia

Europe

Named relevant countries: Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Kiribati, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Micronesia, Namibia, Russia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Tonga, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu

On 2 November, Kosovo Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti, urged the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefik Dzaferovic, to abolish visa requirements for citizens of Kosovo and to open a liaison office between the two countries to deepen relations.

On 19 November, Prime Minister Hoti of Kosovo revealed on social media that he took part in a video meeting with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, in which visa liberalisation was discussed. The two leaders agreed that meetings would be held regarding visa liberalisation in the coming days, to be followed by a meeting between the interior ministries of the two countries.

On 18 November, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a draft agreement with the Government of Indonesia on visa abolition. Upon the entering into force of the agreement, Indonesian citizens will be allowed to enter Ukraine visa-free for stays of up to 30 days. Currently, while Ukrainian citizens can travel to Indonesia without a visa for up to 30 days, visa-free access for Indonesians is not reciprocated.

On 25 November, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom, Vadym Prystaiko, announced on Twitter that Ukraine and St Vincent and the Grenadines had signed a visa waiver agreement. Citizens of the two countries may now enter the other on a visa-free basis for stays of up to 90 days every six months.

On 25 November, a visa waiver agreement between Andorra and Russia entered into force after the two countries finalised domestic procedures. The agreement was signed by the Russian and Andorran Foreign Ministers in December 2019.

Covid-19 Responses

On 1 November, England removed Cyprus and Lithuania from its travel corridor list. Further, on 7 November, England removed Germany and Sweden. On 14 November, England removed Greece, except the islands of Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, and Zakynthos, and on 28 November, Estonia and Latvia were removed. Persons arriving in England from these jurisdictions are therefore subject to a 14-day self-isolation requirement (reduced to 10 days on 11 December).

On 21 November, England added Israel, Namibia, and Uruguay to its travel corridor list. Further, on 28 November, England added Kiribati, Micronesia, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. Persons arriving in England from these jurisdictions are exempt from the 14-day self-isolation requirement (reduced to 10 days on 11 December).

Americas

Named relevant countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, United States, Uruguay

Covid-19 Responses

On 14 November, authorities in Brazil extended the closure of the country’s land borders until at least 12 December 2020, with the exception of the border with Paraguay. Borders remain closed to non-resident foreign nationals. The closure affects citizens of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela who benefit from visa-free access to Brazil.

On 19 November, the United States and Canada announced they would extend the closure of their land border to all nonessential travel until at least 21 December 2020. The restrictions do not affect air travel or essential business travel.

On 30 November, authorities in Canada extended travel restrictions for non-United States citizens until at least 21 December 2020. Exemptions to the restrictions are in place for essential travel, including international students and diplomats.

Middle East

Named relevant countries: Israel, Oman, Peru, United Arab Emirates

On 1 November, the Ministry of Finance of Oman published its Fiscal Balance Plan 2020–2024. The plan proposes granting visa exemptions to citizens from 100 countries, although the list of specific countries is yet to be released. Currently, all visa services in Oman remain suspended due to Covid-19.

On 1 November, the Government of the United Arab Emirates ratified a number of agreements between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, including an agreement regarding a mutual visa exemption for citizens of the two countries that was signed in October 2020.

On 8 November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates announced that Emiratis holding diplomatic, special, and mission passports can now travel without a visa to Peru for stays of up to 90 days. Additionally, Emiratis holding ordinary passports can travel visa-free to Peru for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Covid-19 Responses

On 16 November, the land border between the United Arab Emirates and Oman reopened. Citizens of Oman do not require prior approval to enter the United Arab Emirates.

Asia

Named relevant countries: Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

Covid-19 Responses

On 3 November, Kazakhstan extended the suspension of its visa-free regime for citizens of 57 countries until 1 May 2021. Additionally, Kazakhstan extended the suspension of its 72-hour visa-free regime for transit passengers from China and India until 1 January 2021.

On 29 November, the Government of Myanmar extended the country’s international flight suspension until 31 December 2020. Exceptions remain in place for humanitarian and cargo flights out of Yangon International Airport. The suspension particularly affects citizens of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, who do not require a visa to enter Myanmar.

Africa

Named relevant countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Tunisia, Russia, Rwanda, Zambia

On 9 November, the Ambassador of Zambia to Moscow, Shadreck Luwita, confirmed that the Zambian Minister of Home Affairs and the Interior Minister of Russia are in talks about the possibility of abolishing visa requirements for travel between the two countries for ordinary passport holders.

Covid-19 Responses

On 2 November, a memorandum of understanding was signed between officials of the Western Province of Rwanda and the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The memorandum allows for the partial reopening of Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo on 5 November 2020 for small-scale traders to resume business on either side of the border.

On 15 November, commercial flights to Libya resumed from Tunisia following an eight-month suspension. Passengers from both countries are required to provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival and must self-isolate for a period of 10 days.