EU outlines more flexible visa rules, includes 1-year touring visa

EU outlines more flexible visa rules, includes 1-year touring visa
# 01 April 2014 20:14 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The European Union announced on Tuesday to introduce more flexible visa rules to boost growth and job creation, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The proposals made by the European Commission mainly aimed at reducing the deadline from 15 to 10 days for processing and taking a decision,simplified application form and allowing for online applications, and allowing legitimate travellers to circulate in the Schengen area for up to a year.

The Commission quoted a recent study saying that in 2012 a total number of 6.6 million potential travellers from six countries (China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Ukraine) with the most travellers were "lost" due to cumbersome visa procedures.

The Commission pointed that more flexible and accessible visa rules could lead to an increase in trips to the Schengen area of between 30 percent and up to 60 percent, only from these six countries.

"This could mean as much as 130 billion euros (179 billion U.S. dollars) in total direct spending over five years , and could translate into some 1.3 million jobs in tourism and related sectors," the Commission said.

"Our proposal will help European tourism industry at a time when international competition is becoming increasingly fierce with a growing number of countries relying on tourism as a factor for growth," said Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice President responsible for industry and entrepreneurship.

The proposals must now be approved by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, which can be expected at the earliest in 2015.

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