Cyprus Nears Visa Waiver Agreement With USA, Says Foreign Minister

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides has told local press he expects new developments soon with regards to a visa-waiver agreement with the United States.

“Our aim is to have developments towards that direction within 2020,” Christodoulides said on Tuesday, according to Cyprus Mail, adding that the competent deputy minister of the US government was slated to visit the island this month to discuss the way forward for a visa-waiver agreement between the two countries. The question of how to achieve the goal will be the subject of conversation during the official visit, which will include meetings with the Ministries of Justice and Interior.

The US’ visa waiver program is an exclusive club consisting of only 39 member countries, including most EU member states with the exceptions of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania.

The EU has an “umbrella” visa-waiver agreement with the United States – whose citizens are welcome without a visa in all EU countries – and has repeatedly prodded the US to reciprocate by extending that privilege to all its member states. The US, meanwhile, has stated intentions to include also the remaining EU members but wants those countries to first comply with certain criteria on “security, crime, and terrorism”.

All four EU-member states remaining outside the visa-waiver program have ratified agreements on “Preventing and Combating Serious Crime” and are now working to fully implement the measures thereto pertaining.


Publication: 20 January 2020

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