30/11/2009 Visa free travel for citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia before Christmas
The EU decided today that the citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia will be able to travel without visa to the Schengen area as of 19 December 2009.
The EU Member States adopted today a decision allowing citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to travel to all countries of the Schengen area without visa. They will be able to do so before Christmas, as of 19 December 2009.
The new visa free regime will apply to all holders of biometric passports, who can now travel to the Schengen area for up to 90 days per six-month period. The Schengen area is made up of 28 European countries – all EU Member States except the UK and Ireland, as well as three non-EU members, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Persons who do not hold a biometric passport and the residents of Kosovo holding a Serbian passport issued by the Coordination Directorate in Belgrade will still need a visa. The same applies to the persons who intend to work during a short stay or who want to come for more than 90 days; they need visas and work permits.
The European Commission started the visa liberalisation dialogue in early 2008 with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina are not included in today's decision, as the latest assessment of the Commission showed that they did not yet meet all the requirements. As soon as the two countries achieve the necessary progress in implementing the roadmaps, the Commission will be ready to propose visa free travel for their citizens.