Samoa signs Short-stay Visa Waiver Agreement with EU: 28 May 2015, Brussels

Samoa signs Short-stay Visa Waiver Agreement with EU:  28 May 2015, Brussels

In a landmark development in Samoa’s relations with the European Union, the Ambassador of Samoa to the European Union, Fatumanava Pa’olelei Luteru, signed the visa-free agreement on behalf of Samoa whilst Zanda KALNINA-LUKAŠEVICA of the EU Latvian Presidency and Commissioner Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS signed on behalf of the European Union.

The Agreement provides for visa-free travel for citizens of Samoa to 26 of the 28 of the member states of the EU. .  Such travel shall be for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period.  This provision does not apply to persons travelling for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.  The Agreement will be applied on a provisional basis as from the date of signature between both parties.

Samoa signs Short-stay Visa Waiver Agreement with EU

In a short statement during the official ceremony the Ambassador of Samoa said that the signing marks a historical and significant milestone in elevating and strengthening relations between the EU and Samoa.  He also noted that the visa waiver agreement will facilitate economic and social exchanges as well as closer understanding and tolerance of cultures leading to global peace and security.

The Ambassador concluded by thanking and congratulating the Commission and the EU Council for facilitating the agreement in a timely and effective manner.

The agreement is now being applied from the date of signature on a provisional basis while the EU and Samoa finalise the formal ratification.

The agreement does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Further, bilateral agreements on the short-stay visa waiver need to be concluded without delay between Samoa and four European countries – Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein given their close relationship with the European Union.

Samoan passport holders can now enter, visa free, the following 26 European Union Member States’ (EUMS) territories for a short stay visit: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Likewise, citizens of these 26 EUMS can enter and remain in Samoa, visa free, for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.