From 11 June 2017 Ukrainian citizens holding biometric passports can travel to the Schengen Zone without a visa. The EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that this agreement “will create new opportunities, strengthening economies, or security, and friendship”. Under the new agreement, Ukrainians are allowed to stay in the EU for up to 90 days for tourism. However, the visa-free regime prohibits them to work in the EU.
The visa waiver approved by the EU also covers four countries that are not currently a part of the Schengen zone, namely Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. However, since the United Kingdom and Ireland have different policies, Ukrainian citizens will still have to undergo a full visa application process in order to visit these countries.
The EU has a suspension mechanism that can allow member states to close the scheme if migration or security issues develop. The immigration authorities of any EU member state have wide powers to refuse entry to individuals who, for instance, present a threat to public order, health or security, or have been previously banned from entering the EU or if the individual fails to produce documentation proving the purpose of their visit to the EU. As a result, to avoid a potential refusal at the border many Ukrainians may consider applying for visit visa prior to traveling.
As noted above the new arrangements do not affect Ukrainian nationals who wish to visit the UK. Should you wish to explore options for visiting or working in the UK please do not hesitate to contact a member of our immigration team.
© Gherson 2017