EU Lifts Visa Requirements for Moldova
Moldova's citizens will soon be able to travel to the EU's border-free Schengen area without a visa, under a draft law approved by Parliament on Thursday.
Moldova is the first Eastern Partnership country to meet all the requirements for visa-free travel laid down in the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan, according to the official press release published on the European Parliament website.
In order to be able to travel to the Schengen area for 90 days within a 180-day period Moldovans must have biometric passports.
"This is a great achievement and the beginning of a new chapter in our relations," said EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in a statement.
Moldovan citizens already benefit from a visa-facilitation agreement with the EU in force since January 2008. According to the Commission, the number of short-stay Schengen visa applications from Moldovan citizens has remained stable over the past three years varying between 50 000 and 55 000 people.
The visas are expected to be lifted at the end of April. Moldova has already lifted the visa requirement for EU citizens on 1 January 2007.