EU and Timor-Leste sign a short-stay visa waiver agreement
On 26 May the EU and Timor-Leste signed a short-stay visa waiver agreement at a ceremony that took place in Brussels.
On behalf of the EU, the agreement was signed by H.E. Ilze Juhansone, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia, Chairman of the Permanent Representatives Committee, and by Yolanda Gallego-Casilda Grau, Head of Unit "Visa Policy", European Commission. For Timor Leste, Roberto Sarmento de Oliveira Soares, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, signed the agreement.
The new visa regime provides for visa-free travel for EU citizens when travelling to the territory of Timor-Leste and for citizens of this country when travelling to the EU, for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.
In order to benefit from visa-free travel, citizens from the EU and Timor-Leste must be in possession of a valid ordinary, diplomatic, service/official or special passport. Visa-free travel applies to all categories of persons and for any kind of purposes of travel (for instance tourism, cultural visits, scientific activities, family visits, business etc.), except to persons travelling for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.
The decision on the conclusion of the agreement will now be sent to the European Parliament with a view to obtaining its consent before it can be concluded. However, it will apply on a provisional basis as from 26 May 2015.
Ireland and the United Kingdom will not be subject to the application of the agreement, in accordance with the protocols annexed to the EU treaties. The visa regime to these Member States remains subject to their national legislation.