Grenada has expressed appreciation for the European Commission’s decision to provide visa-free travel facility to Grenadians traveling to countries in the Schengen area. Grenadian immigration officials and the country’s Prime Minister, and the minister for Foreign affairs, Mr. Tillman Thomas said that country is delighted at the commission’s decision. Mr. Thomas also said that the decision will allow Grenada and the European Schengen countries to take advantage of each other’s resources and expertise and to expand their trade relations through such arrangements. Thomas also said that the commission had made a very constrictive decision and that Grenadians will now easily be able to travel to these countries and also reduce their travel costs as they will not longer have to go through regular immigration procedures for such journeys. There are 22 member countries of the Schengen visa waiver agreement as till now, with the exception of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Earlier this month, the European Commission had announced that it will allow 16 more countries to travel to the Schengen area without obtaining a visa, and Grenada was also on the list of those countries.
Last week, the government of Grenada officially welcomed the decision of the European Commission to allow visa free travel facility to Grenadians travelling to the countries in the Schengen area. The Prime minister of Grenada said that the new policy of the commission has opened the doors for Grenadians to benefit from the leisure and productive opportunities in the Schengen area countries, and also for these countries to take advantage of the services and expertise that Grenada can provide.
“This is a very positive step for Grenada,” the Prime Minister said, “and the four other Caribbean countries that will benefit from the change.”
Prime Minister Thomas said that the commission’s decision will bridge the gaps between the European Commission and Grenada, and will also accommodate both their regions.
“It will increase opportunities for our people travelling to Europe and it will make it easier for the development of partnership. We welcome this development because it will also impact our tourism,” Thomas said.
Government officials said that the new policy will remove the requirement for Grenadians to acquire a short stay visa of up to 90 days while travelling to these countries, as long as they have a valid passport. This, according to the officials, will also allow the visa applicants to avoid travelling abroad to obtain a Schengen visa.
“This will make travel planning easier,” an official said, “and reduce the travelling costs. Member states’ limited consular presence in many of these [newly added] countries has resulted in visa applicants often having to travel abroad to apply for a Schengen visa.”
Earlier this month, the European Commission had announced that it will be allowing 16 more countries to travel to the countries located in the Schengen area without fulfilling visa requirements of those countries. The European commission’s visa waiver policy will also allow these travelers to go to Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus without a visa, which are not yet complete members of the Schengen area. The Schengen area includes a total of 22 countries with the exception of Ireland and the UK, which follow their own immigration regulations when it comes to non-European Union travelers.