Monday, June 24, 2024

EU Wants to Permanently Reintroduce Schengen Visas for Vanuatu Citizens

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The Commission of the European Union has proposed that the visa requirement for nationals of Vanuatu be permanently reintroduced.

Visa-free travel to the Schengen Area for passport holders of Vanuatu was temporarily suspended in May 2022

However, since Vanuatu has failed to address irregular migration and reduce the security risks of its investor citizenship schemes, the Commission has said that the requirement for Vanuatu citizens to obtain a Schengen visa should be made permanent, SchengenNews reports.

As the Commission notes, Vanuatu has been asked several times to mitigate risks deriving from investor schemes such as money laundering, infiltration of organised crime, corruption, and tax evasion.

Despite that, Vanuatu has not taken sufficient measures to minimise these risks even though it has adopted some legislative changes.

As a result, the authorities now want to permanently require nationals of Vanuatu to obtain a visa to travel to the bloc for short stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

Nationals of Vanuatu already require a visa in order to travel to the EU for short stays. This proposal will make this requirement permanent.

EU Commission

EU Commissioners Condemn Vanuatu’s Lack of Effort to Mitigate Security Challenges

The EU authorities believe that investor citizenship schemes were used by foreigners to obtain citizenship of Vanuatu and then enjoy visa-free privileges to travel to the bloc.

According to the Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, visa-free travel provides many advantages for countries that have a visa liberalisation agreement with the EU.

However, he stressed that if these advantages are abused, visa-free travel is taken away to protect the bloc from any security risks.

As we are showcasing today in the case of Vanuatu, the EU has the means to quickly counter any abuses of visa-free travel, particularly when these lead to irregular migration or security risks for the EU, and we will not hesitate to use them.

Vice-President for Promoting European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas

Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson also commented on the matter. She said that the EU constantly monitors visa-free regimes and takes measures against countries that misuse this benefit.

Vanuatu Nationals Applied Only for 231 Schengen Visas in 2023

Schengen Visa Statistics recent data shows that nationals of Vanuatu applied only for 231 Schengen visas in 2023.

This number is not surprising as the South Pacific Ocean nation has a population of around 326,740.

Of the total number of Vanuatu nationals who applied for a Schengen visa last year, 204 of them were issued the document, whereas two of them were refused the visa.

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