Ambassador of Qatar Receives Official Proposal Document for Schengen Visa Requirement Wavering

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The European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, has offered the legal document of the Commission’s proposal for wavering visa requirements for short stays of Qatari nationals to the Ambassador of Qatar, Abdulaziz bin Ahmed Al Malki.

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This act followed the meeting between two parties, during which the Ambassador said the announcement for abolishing visa requirements for Qatari nationals is a result of efforts of his country and the EU, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry of Qatar welcomed the EU’s announcement and reminded citizens it will take some time until the decision enters force due to remaining procedures.

“The State of Qatar welcomes the announcement of the European Commission to include Qatar on the list of countries whose citizens are exempted from the Schengen Visa and the announcement of beginning the final negotiations between Qatar and the European Union for exempting Qatari citizens from Schengen Visa,” the Qatari Foreign Ministry wrote on a statement.

The European Commission made an official proposal to the European Council for Qatari and Kuwaiti nationals to be exempted from visa requirements for visits shorter than 90 days in any 180-day period in any Schengen Area country or member state, with the reasons for such stays being family visits, business or tourism.

The EU Council hasn’t yet approved the proposal, but the premises for a positive decision are strong as the country has fulfilled the required criteria that include irregular migration, public policy and security, economic benefits and relations with the 27-nation-bloc. In addition, Qatari nationals are able to travel provided they have biometric documents.

“The final objective is to ensure regional coherence and ultimately achieve visa-free travel for all Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Together with our upcoming Joint Communication on the Gulf, this proposal will reinforce the overall partnership and strengthen the cooperation between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council,” the Vice-President of the EU Commission, Josep Borrell, said during the announcement of the visa requirement abolishment, on Wednesday.

Currently, nationals of over 60 countries and territories are able to travel to 27-nation-bloc exempted from visa requirements under EU law. Moreover, travellers exempted from visa requirements will be permitted to visit the Schengen area but still have to undergo requirements of the EU Entry/Exit System (EES) starting from the upcoming months of 2022. In addition, specific requirements of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be applied by May 2023.

The wavering of visa requirements for Qatar and Kuwait nationals sets the pace for closer relations with these countries and the remaining Gulf countries, which include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.