Six rules for crossing the border with the European Union
As you know, on April 6, 2017, the absolute majority of MEPs voted to grant visa-free regime with the EU for Ukraine. Today, the ambassadors of member countries at the Council of the European Union considered and pre-approved legislative regulations on adding Ukraine to the list of third countries whose nationals are not subject to visa requirements. Visa-free regime for citizens of Ukraine will actually take effect approximately on June 11.
So now the question is what documents you need to have in order to successfully cross the border with Europe with a Ukrainian travel passport. Mukachevo.net made a list of key conditions, under which we will be able to travel the EU much more freely than now.
Recently, the NGO "Europe without Barriers" has prepared and published a detailed description of the basic rules of visa-free regime based on the extraction from the Schengen Border Code.
Thus, the six basic rules of visa-free regime are:
To cross the border with the EU, you should have any travel passport with a visa or a biometric passport (after the entry into force of the visa-free regime), which will remain valid at least 3 months after your return home.
With a biometric passport without a visa or with a regular visa, you can stay in the EU for no more than 90 days during a period of 180 days.
2. Purpose of the trip
You must be prepared to calmly and convincingly explain border guards where you are going, for how long, for what purpose, how are you coming back and how you will be providing yourself with food and accommodation during the trip. You may be asked to confirm your statements with documents.
For business travel - an invitation from the company or authority; other documents which demonstrate the commercial or labor relations; tickets for fairs and congresses, if you plan to visit.
For education travels - a certificate of enrollment / registration to a school / courses; student cards or certificates of courses attended.
For tourist trips - supporting documents regarding accommodation: an invitation from the host (owner) or hotel. Supporting documents for the return: a return ticket or a ticket to a two-way tour.
For travels to participate in the political, scientific, cultural, sports or religious events - invitations, tickets, information on registration (enrolment) or program specifying where possible, the name of the host organization and the length of stay, or any other appropriate documents certifying the purpose of the visit.
Precautions apply to persons, who have been convicted of a crime in the EU and sentenced to a prison sentence above 1 year, persons for whom there is reason to believe that they have committed a serious criminal offense or intend to commit such an offense on the territory of any EU state, people, who have been expelled from the EU, people who have been denied entry or forbidden to reside in the EU member states for non-compliance with national rules of entry or residence, and others.
All this may be a reason for refusing entry.
4. Duration of stay
Even if you entered on August 1 at 23:55, it is your date of entry, and August 2 will be the second day of your stay.
If you've been in the EU on the basis of a residence permit or a long-stay visa, those days are not counted.
5. Cash and provision
There is a list of documents that you can provide on the border to prove the purpose of stay, availability of funds and intent to come back, but it is not comprehensive, it all depends on the circumstances.
Each state has its requirements to the minimum amount, that you must have, calculated on the basis of average prices for cheap accommodation and food.
Credit cards, sponsorship declaration (when someone states they are going to finance your trip) or letters of guarantee from the host (eg, provision of or payment for accommodation) can also serve as evidence in addition to cash.
If you have a residence permit or a long-stay visa of one member state, you can enter it through another country, even without the required amount of money or documents.
Theoretically, EU member states have the right to let you into the territory of the EU without complying with the above rules when it comes to humanitarian needs, national interests or the international commitments of the country to which you are going. But those are exceptional cases and you should not rely on that.
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