GCC eyes Schengen visa waiver for citizens

GCC eyes Schengen visa waiver for citizens By A Robin - March 17, 2024
Schengen visa

Schengen visa

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has revealed its intentions to advocate for the exemption of its citizens from the Schengen visa requirement, as disclosed by the bloc’s secretary general.

Jasem Albudaiwi announced plans to travel to Brussels in the upcoming week to address the matter, asserting that GCC member states have a compelling case for Schengen visa exemption, supported by a robust dossier.

Albudaiwi highlighted the positive contributions of Gulf citizens in Europe across various sectors such as education, tourism, healthcare, commerce, and trade, emphasizing their stability and propensity to export positive elements.

He expressed bewilderment at the absence of visa exemption for GCC citizens, stressing their eligibility for such privilege given their beneficial presence in Europe.

Albudaiwi underscored the favorable impact of GCC investments across Europe, expressing optimism regarding the prospect of visa waiver.

The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar.

In December, a GCC summit in Doha greenlit a unified Gulf visa system, facilitating travel across the six member countries.

Albudaiwi mentioned that technical committees are working on finalizing the unified Gulf visa system before presenting it for member country approval, anticipating its issuance this year.

Furthermore, GCC interior ministers endorsed a Schengen-like unified tourist visa during their meeting in Oman in November, aiming to bolster tourism and economic prospects within the GCC.

By A Robin - March 17, 2024

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