May’s Visa-Free Digest

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

AlbaniaEuropean UnionMacedoniaQatarThailand
AzerbaijanHong KongMexicoRomaniaTurkey
BulgariaIsraelMontenegroRussiaUkraine
ColombiaKyrgyzstanMoroccoSpainUnited Kingdom
CyprusLibyaOmanSt Vincent and the GrenadinesVietnam

Europe

Named relevant countries: European Union, Montenegro, Qatar, Russia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom

On 1 April, the Government of Montenegro extended visa-free travel to citizens of Russia until 31 October 2021. Citizens of Russia may enter Montenegro for up to 90 days without a visa.

On 7 April, the Government of Ukraine approved an agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines on the mutual abolition of visa requirements. The Agreement provides for visa-free travel for up to 90 days in any 180-day period for citizens of Ukraine and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

On 20 April, the Council of Ministers of Spain approved the General Courts’ Agreement to abolish visa requirements for diplomatic, special, and service passport holders between Spain and Qatar. Under the Agreement, nationals of both countries holding a diplomatic, special, or service passport can stay in the territory of the other country for 90 days within any 180-day period.

On 27 April, a letter organised by the Incorporated Society of Musicians and signed by Unions and hundreds of industry figures was sent to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson. The letter urges the Government to negotiate a bespoke visa waiver agreement with the European Union covering creative professionals, including technical and support staff and journalists.

Americas

Named relevant countries: Colombia, Morocco

On 6 April, representatives of the Foreign Ministries of Colombia and Morocco took part in a virtual bilateral meeting and signing ceremony. During the meeting, an agreement waiving visa requirements for stays of up to 90 days for citizens of the two countries was signed.

Middle East

Named relevant countries: Hong Kong, Oman

On 9 April, the Immigration Department of the Government of Hong Kong announced that Oman has granted Hong Kong passport-holders visa-free travel for stays of up to 10 days. The benefit, however, only applies to those with a confirmed hotel reservation, health insurance, and a return air ticket.

Asia

Named relevant countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Romania, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam

On 1 April, Protocol No. 1 signed in December 2020 between the Governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey entered into force. Protocol No. 1 amends the February 2020 agreement on mutual visa exemption, allowing citizens of the two countries to travel to the other without a visa. Azerbaijani citizens can visit Turkey with biometric identity cards valid for at least 30 days from the date of entry. Turkish citizens can enter Azerbaijan with a new generation identity card.

On 21 April, it was announced that MPs in Kyrgyzstan adopted the first reading of draft legal amendments on the introduction of a visa-free regime for citizens of certain countries for stays of up to 60 days. The bill expands the list of countries whose citizens can travel to Kyrgyzstan for up to 60 days visa-free, adding citizens of Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Israel, Macedonia, Mexico, Romania, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Africa

Named relevant countries: Libya, Turkey

On 12 April, during a two-day diplomatic visit to Turkey, the Prime Minister of Libya announced at a round table meeting that Libya will “immediately start procedures for the complete abolition of visa [requirements]” for citizens of Turkey.