Today the EU will sign a reciprocal short-stay visa waiver agreement with Peru. The agreement will apply from 15 March 2016, allowing visa-free travel for Peruvian nationals to the EU for short stays of up to 90 days as well as for EU citizens travelling to Peru. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, representing the Council Presidency, will sign the agreement from the EU side, together with the Peruvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ana María Sánchez Vargas de Ríos. The signing ceremony will take place in the presence of EU High Representative/Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini and the President of Peru Ollanta Humala Tasso.
Ahead of the signing ceremony, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini said: "Today's agreement delivers on our citizens' aspirations and will positively impact on their everyday life. From tomorrow Peruvian citizens will be able to travel for short stays to the EU without a visa, and vice-versa. This will simplify the lives of many people and create more opportunities for both Peru and the EU – for tourism, for investments and for our contacts. This agreement and the one signed with Colombia only a few months ago show how close we feel to Latin America. We share so much culture, so many interests and values – and today we make the friendship between our peoples even easier".
Commissioner Avramopoulos said: “The agreement to be signed today will make visa-free travel to the EU a reality for the citizens of Peru who I know have been very much looking forward to this moment. I congratulate the Government of Peru for the swift and successful issuing of biometric passports for its citizens since last month. This was an important condition for the EU to approve this visa waiver. It is important that the biometric passport system is fully completed by the summer. I am confident that this agreement will promote tourism, trade and business contacts between the peoples of our two great continents.”
The visa waiver will not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland.