March’s Visa-Free Digest

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

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan South Sudan
Belarus Kenya Turkey
Burundi Oman Tanzania
Croatia Peru Uganda
European Union Poland United Kingdom
Georgia Rwanda United States

Europe

Named relevant countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, European Union, Poland, Scotland, Turkey, United Kingdom

On 1 February, the National Assembly of Azerbaijan implemented a protocol on amendments to an agreement signed in Baku on 25 February 2020, allowing citizens of Azerbaijan and Turkey to travel between the two countries by presenting ID cards only.

On 7 February, the Permanent Representation of Poland to the European Union reiterated calls on the European Commission to activate a comprehensive plan of economic support for Belarus, including talks on the introduction of a visa-free regime between Belarus and the European Union.

On 15 February, a UK Parliament petition was created that is being shared by a number of cycling pros from the United Kingdom. The pro cyclers are urging the UK Government to negotiate a visa-free permit with the European Union to enable them to race on the continent in 2021.

On 21 February, the Culture Secretary for Scotland, Fiona Hyslop, requested an urgent meeting with the UK’s Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, to negotiate visa-free access for artists and other creative professionals touring between the United Kingdom and the European Union. She said: “Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit, but Scottish artists and musicians are facing huge barriers to touring […] and will have to understand and comply with 27 different visa regimes.”

Americas

Named relevant countries: Peru, United Kingdom, United States

On 2 February, in a virtual meeting of representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom and Peru, Peru reiterated its interest in achieving visa-free travel for Peruvian citizens travelling to the United Kingdom for short stays.

On 16 February, United States Ambassador to Croatia, Victoria Taylor, announced on Twitter that the final refusal rate for Croatian tourist/business visa applicants fell to 2.69% in 2020. This means that Croatia has met the final condition for inclusion in the US Visa Waiver Programme. Her Excellency stated that the United States would continue to work with Croatia to complete the accession process.

Middle East

Named relevant countries: Georgia, Oman, Peru

On 21 February, Oman signed visa waiver agreements with Georgia and Peru for holders of diplomatic, special, and service passports. The agreements were signed by Oman’s Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Diplomatic Affairs and the Ambassadors of Georgia and Peru to Oman.

Asia

Named relevant countries: Kazakhstan

On 18 February, the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan announced the Government’s intent to waive visa requirements for citizens of 16 countries in 2021 to boost foreign tourism in the country. It has so far not been specified which 16 countries will be added to the visa-free list.

Africa

Named relevant countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda

On 27 February, at the 21st ordinary summit of the heads of state of countries in the East African Community, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, proposed introducing a reciprocal visa waiver between South Sudan and East African nations. The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced that he is willing to remove visa restrictions for citizens of South Sudan on the basis of reciprocity as requested by President Kiir. The summit was attended by representatives from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.