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Europe takes step closer to visa free entry for Samoa

Samoa is a step closer to visa free entry to most of the European Union, with final approval hoped for as early as next year.

Business, tourism and family visits will be allowed under the new arrangements, approved this week by the European Parliament.

“I am pleased that once the necessary procedures are completed, nationals from 16 small island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific regions, the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Colombia will be able to come to the Schengen area without a visa - be it for business, touristic or family visit purposes,” said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs at the European Commission, in a press release.

The Schengen area covers 22 of the 28 European Union countries, along with four others – 26 in all.

Visa free travel to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus will not be covered under the new arrangements. However free access to most European countries is seen as a major step forward, especially for small island states.

“This will open up opportunities and advantages also for EU citizens, as any existing visa requirement for EU citizens to travel to these countries will be eliminated,” said Commissioner Malmström.



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