| 28 February 2024, Wednesday |

EU moves to lift visa rules for travelers from Qatar, Kuwait

The European Union announced on Wednesday that visa requirements for Qataris and Kuwaitis will be lifted, making it easier for them to visit several European nations for up to 90 days.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive department, has recommended allowing travelers with biometric passports from the two Mideast nations to join the EU without a visa for short stays.

The proposal would apply to business, tourist and family-related travel and grant visa-free access to all EU member countries except Ireland, as well as entry to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

EU lawmakers and member countries must first endorse the commission’s plan, and then an agreement would be drawn up with Qatar and Kuwait.

The European Commission said the two countries present a low risk of allowing unauthorized migrants to enter Europe. Kuwait and Qatar “are also important economic partners for the Union, in particular in the area of energy,” it said.

The EU has been talking to Qatar in recent months about ensuring gas supplies as concern mounted that Russia might cut supplies to Europe.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said the bloc “will continue engaging with the remaining visa-required Gulf countries that are interested in visa-free travel to the EU.”



  • NNA