Home Travel & Adventure EU Establishes New Criteria for Revoking Visa-Free Travel for Third Countries

EU Establishes New Criteria for Revoking Visa-Free Travel for Third Countries


Nationals of third countries under the European Union’s visa-free scheme may lose their rights to enter the Schengen Area Member States without a visa, if their home country does not meet some new rules set by the EU.

The move has been announced today, March 13, after the ambassadors of the EU Member States agreed update the mechanism that enables the suspension of visa-free travel for third countries that violate one of the three new grounds. This includes not aligning visa free policies with those of the EU, and operating investor citizenship schemes, also known as golden passports.

The third and final ground is when a particular third country face hybrid threats and deficiencies in document security legislation or procedures, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Member states have decided to also include the possibility to suspend the visa-free regime in case of a significant and abrupt deterioration in the EU’s external relations with a third country, in particular when it relates to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Council of EU

Previously Set Grounds to Remain Effective for Cancelling Visa-Free Travel

The previously set grounds, which are as follows, will continue to remain in place:

  • When a substantial increase in the number of nationals of a visa-free country who are refused entry or found overstaying,
  • Where there’s an increase in the number of unfounded asylum applications, with a low recognition rate from the nationals of such a country,
  • Non-cooperation with the EU on readmission of people that have been asked to leave the EU territory,
  • Failure to continue meeting the visa liberalisation benchmarks.

Countries Under EU’s Visa-Free System Operating Golden Passports Schemes

Several countries the citizens of which benefit from a visa-free travel arrangement with the EU, operate schemes through which foreigners can obtain their passport, by making an investment of a set amount in that country.

The list of such countries includes Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montenegro, North Macedonia, St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as St. Lucia. In some of them, like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Lucia, foreigners can gain citizenship by investing as little as USD 100,000.

After foreigners make this investment, within a short period, they are granted citizenship, along with a passport of that country, which enables its holder to enter the Schengen Zone visa-free. Often little to no background checks are made on these investors, the majority of whom are Russian and Chinese millionaires.

The EU has often criticised such schemes, not only those operated by third countries, but also those operated by EU members, calling them a backdoor to Europe for criminals and the corrupt.

Suspending Visa-Free Travel for Those Not Aligning Policies With EU: Serbia on the Forefront

While the majority of third countries take very seriously the alignment of their visa policies with those of the EU, there’s one country, who’s face quite some criticism from the EU, for not doing so.

In the recent years, Serbia, a close ally of Russia, has often been hit with criticism and warnings by the EU and its officials for permitting to enter its territory visa-free the nationals of some countries, which are well known for being sources of irregular migrants to the EU.

Serbia usually granted visa-free entry for the nationals of these countries, as a ‘thank you’ for not recognizing the independence of its neighbour, the Republic of Kosovo. However, following EU pressure, Serbia has reintroduced visas for the nationals of countries like India, Cuba, Bolivia, Guinea-Bisau, Tunisia, Burundi, etc.

The country still offers visa-free entry to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, China, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Suriname, and Türkiye – the nationals of none of which can enter the EU visa-free.

Facebook Comments Box
Previous articleKosovar Tourists Boost Greek Economy: Spending Hits €1 Million Every Weekend Post-Visa Liberalization
Next articleEU Simplifies Process: Combined Work and Residence Permits Now Easier for Foreign Workers to Obtain
Monte OZ is a highly accomplished and respected international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger based in Africa. With a passion for storytelling, a sense of adventure, and an eye for all things captivating, Monte has become a prominent figure in the world of travel, entertainment, and lifestyle journalism. Born and raised in Africa, Monte developed a deep appreciation for the continent's diverse cultures, rich heritage, and vibrant entertainment scene. His upbringing fueled his desire to share Africa's untold stories and showcase its dynamic lifestyle to a global audience. Monte's extensive experience and expertise have made him a sought-after authority on all things related to travel, adventure, entertainment, and lifestyle in Africa. As an international freelance journalist, Monte has made significant contributions to various prestigious publications worldwide. His captivating articles, insightful interviews, and engaging features have graced the pages of leading entertainment magazines, lifestyle publications, and reputable news outlets. Monte's unique ability to capture the essence of Africa's entertainment and lifestyle scene has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. With a love for exploration and a thirst for adrenaline, Monte also thrives as an active adventure reporter. He has embarked on daring expeditions, immersing himself in Africa's wild landscapes, and documenting his adrenaline-pumping experiences. Whether it's conquering treacherous peaks, exploring remote jungles, or engaging in heart-pounding activities, Monte's adventurous spirit and daring escapades inspire readers to embrace their own sense of adventure. In addition to his work in journalism and adventure reporting, Monte is a leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger in Africa. Through his influential blog, he offers readers an insider's view of the continent's vibrant entertainment scene, trendy hotspots, fashion trends, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Monte's unique blend of storytelling, personal insights, and expert recommendations has made his blog a go-to resource for entertainment and lifestyle enthusiasts seeking the pulse of Africa's dynamic culture. Beyond his professional pursuits, Monte is a passionate advocate for promoting Africa's talent, creativity, and cultural diversity. He actively supports and champions emerging artists, musicians, designers, and entrepreneurs, helping to showcase their work to a broader audience. Monte's dedication to promoting Africa's vibrant entertainment and lifestyle industry has positioned him as a respected influencer and tastemaker within the African and global entertainment communities. With a commitment to excellence, a passion for exploration, and a talent for captivating storytelling, Monte Oz continues to captivate audiences worldwide. As an international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger, his work has left an indelible mark on the world of journalism, travel, and entertainment, solidifying his position as a trusted authority and go-to resource for all things related to African travel, adventure, and lifestyle.