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Palau enters visa waiver deal with European Union

Diplomacy

Palau enters visa waiver deal with European Union

The Republic of Palau has opened its borders to visa-free travel from more than two dozen nations of the European Union, raising the prospects of more European tourists.

The European Union’s visa waiver agreement with Palau went into effect Dec. 8, according to a statement from an EU office in Fiji.

Palau and EU representatives began negotiations for the visa waiver program a year ago.

The visa waiver program allows tourists from countries under the European Union to stay in Palau for 90 days without the need to apply for a Palau travel visa. The same agreement allows Palauan citizens to travel to a number of countries in Europe visa-free if they intend to stay for no longer than 90 days for every six-month period.

The visa waiver program allows visa-free travel between Palau and Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The agreement “will encourage people-to-people contacts, boost tourism, and invigorate business between the EU and Palau,” according to the EU.

Ireland and the United Kingdom aren’t covered by the visa-waiver program with Palau.

In order to benefit from visa-free travel, citizens from the EU and Palau must be in possession of a valid passport.

Visa-free travel applies to tourism, cultural visits, scientific activities, family visits and business, according to the EU.

Guam also has been seeking additional visa-waiver authority from the federal government to allow tourists from China to more easily visit the island. The island’s China visitor market has been growing, despite the lack of a visa waiver for that nation, according to Guam Visitors Bureau statistics.

[Original post: http://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2015/12/08/palau-enters-visa-waiver-deal-european-union/77010358/]

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