The membership of Cyprus to the EU’s Schengen Area and the Visa Waiver program are among the main priorities of this country for next year, Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos has said.
The Minister aspires for the accession to the passport-free zone for his country to happen in 2024. His comments came while introducing his ministry’s 2023-2024 action plan. Kombos emphasised that the first one on the list is contributing towards a solution for the Cyprus problem, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In spite of the fact that Cyprus is not part of the Schengen Zone, it has been part of the European Union since May 1, 2004, meaning that nationals of all EU countries are eligible to travel to this country visa-free. Besides, citizens from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway are also able to travel without visas to Cyprus.
At the same time, Cypriots are also allowd to travel without additional requirements such as visas to all EU member states.
At present, Cyprus is undergoing the Schengen evaluation process in order to determine the readiness of this country to become part of the Schengen Area.
Cyprus gained accession to the Schengen Information System (SIS) for security and border management in Europe on July 25 this year.
Back then, the Deputy Executive Director of EU-LISA, Luca Tagliaretti, considered the accession of Nicosia to this system a significant landmark for eu-Lisa and the EU.
Eu-LISA would like to congratulate all parties involved in reaching this milestone. Without the tight collaboration and dedication shown over the last couple of years, today’s successful integration would not have happened. Luca Tagliaretti, the Deputy Executive Director of eU-LISA In addition to waiting to become the newest member of the Schengen Zone, Nicosia also aspires to join the United States Visa Waiver Program.
However, in order for this process to be finalised, the country still needs to meet some conditions, as emphasised by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the US Department of Homeland Security, Robert Paschall, in August this year.
It [Visa Waiver Program] is a security program, and it is also a travel facilitation program, and it strengthens people-to-people ties. All those things are very important, and it allows for countries such as the US and Cyprus who keep ties and relationships to deepen them. He said that both sides are committed to achieving positive results while highlighting the importance of the US Visa Waiver Program.
Article source: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/cyprus-aspires-to-join-schengen-area-in-2024/