Yesterday, it was Georgia’s first day of visa-free travel with the EU. This was a long-awaited event – the International airport in Tbilisi was draped with Georgian and EU flags in celebrations.
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) March 28, 2017
Georgia’s path to visa-free travel took 11 years. Establishing a visa-free regime with the EU is a long process and can be divided into seven main stages: negotiations, a Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement, Visa Dialogue, Action Plan on Visa Liberalization, European Commission recommends amendments to the Council Regulation, the European Parliament votes, the EU Council of Ministers votes, the decision is published in the EU’s Official Journal.
Of the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine), only two have succeeded in entering into a visa-free regime with the EU after signing the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement (VFA). Moldova achieved it in 2014 after seven years and Georgia was successful in 2017 after six years.
Ukraine is next in line to enter a visa-free regime with the EU – it is expected that Ukrainians will be able to travel without visas in mid-June 2017.
Take a look into Georgia’s road to visa-free travel with this infographic by JumpStart Georgia.
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