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BRUSSELS, May 11. /TASS/. The EU Council has approved the decision to liberalize visa rules for Ukrainian citizens, European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos told TASS.
"I am pleased to see that we are reaching the end of the process and I welcome the Council's adoption of visa liberalization for Ukraine - a final step towards visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens," he said.
The EU Council points out that the liberalization of visa rules envisages Ukrainians’ right to make tourist trips to the EU countries for a period of no more than 90 days and no more often than once in six months, but gives no right to employment or studies. The EU’s visa liberalization for Ukraine does not apply to Ireland and Britain. This means that Ukrainians will have to obtain visas for visiting these countries.
The EU Council’s decision completes a lengthy procedure of cancelling visas for Ukraine. The document is to be formally signed within two or three weeks and then published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new rules will take effect twenty days after that.
The European Commission on December 18, 2015 advised the EU Council to consider the possibility of easing visa rules for Georgia, Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo. However, the possibility of abolishing visas for these countries emerged only when the European Union complemented its visa legislation by a special item on the conditions of suspending the visa liberalization should the country in question and its citizens violate the agreement in that concerns illegal migration, illegal employment and other aspects.
Currently the European Union is developing a system of preliminary electronic registration for the countries enjoying visa-free access, mandatory for those planning trips to Europe. The registration’s fee is five euros. Those crossing the border without visas will have to present to European border guard officials a sufficient amount of cash, medical insurance, return tickets and accommodation reservation.