- The goal of the visa liberalisation procedure is for Turkish nationals to be able to travel to the Schengen Zone without a visa.
- A agreement has not yet been finalised since many prerequisites must still be completed.
The European Commission has revised its 2021 Enlargement Package, focusing on Turkey and the Western Balkans. This update focuses on the efforts that these nations must take to move closer to joining the European Union.
WHEN DID TURKEY BEGIN THE EU VISA LIBERALISATION PROCESS?
Following the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement, the visa liberalisation procedure with the European Union commenced on December 16, 2013.
The goal of the EU visa liberalisation procedure is to allow Turkish nationals to travel without a visa to the Schengen Area. This would allow Turkish nationals to spend up to 90 days in these nations during a 180-day period.
To make this procedure a realistic alternative, Turkish authorities have made considerable efforts to fulfil the European Commission’s standards. To date, various conditions remain to be fulfilled, and no agreement has been reached.
WHAT REQUIREMENTS DOES TURKEY NEED TO MEET FOR THE EU VISA LIBERALISATION PROCESS?
There are still five requirements that must be met out of the 72 benchmarks established by the European Commission for Turkey to qualify for visa liberalisation:
- Comply with the EU standards on personal data legislation.
- Ensure judicial cooperation with the EU Member States on criminal matters.
- Finalise an operational agreement with Europol.
- Continue to fight corruption.
- Reassess legislation practices on terrorism in line with EU standards.
WHAT IS TURKEY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION?
In terms of economic, security, and diplomatic ties, Turkey is an essential partner for the European Union. In 2021, Turkey and the EU will hold more discussions, with the EU eager to improve cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Migration, climate change, and trade have been among the topics discussed, with both parties working to improve and strengthen relations.
WHAT WILL ACHIEVING THE EU VISA LIBERALISATION PROCESS MEAN FOR TURKEY?
By completing the EU visa liberalisation process, Turkey would join the more than 50 nations that enjoy visa-free travel within the Schengen Area and the borderless travel zone.
ETIAS eligibility for Turkish nationals would be one of the primary benefits of visa liberalisation. When ETIAS goes live, visitors from visa-free nations will be entitled to stay in Schengen countries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
In November 2023, the European Union plans to introduce the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). This visa waiver system is intended to pre-screen all foreign nationals arriving in Europe to verify that no health or security problems exist.
ETIAS would be a significant benefit for Turkey, providing greater protection and security to travellers.
ETIAS FOR TURKISH CITIZENS
Turkish citizens are still ineligible for ETIAS. However, if Turkey and the EU reach a visa-free deal, ETIAS will become a necessity for entering the Schengen zone.
The prerequisites for ETIAS are simple. ETIAS can be applied for online by nationals of visa-exempt countries. They only require a valid passport, an email account, and a debit or credit card.
Most applications should be processed within minutes by the ETIAS system. If Turkish citizens become eligible for ETIAS, they will be able to apply for it easily online.
DO TURKISH CITIZENS REQUIRE A VISA FOR EUROPE?
There is no visa-free travel between Turkey and the EU at the moment, and Turkish passport holders are not eligible for ETIAS.
Turks seeking to visit the Schengen region or any of its 26 member states must get a visa.
HOW CAN TURKISH NATIONALS GET A VISA FOR EUROPE?
Turkish nationals must go to the relevant embassy or consulate to apply for a visa to a European country in the Schengen region. They must have all necessary documentation and a completed Schengen visa application on hand.
Schengen visas are offered in a variety of forms. Some are intended for single entries, while others are intended for numerous entries. Some nations allow admission into several countries, whereas others do not.
Turkish citizens should contact the embassy or consulate of the Schengen member country to which they intend to travel. If they desire to visit more than one nation, they must first inform the embassy of the first proposed country of entry.
SCHENGEN VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR TURKISH CITIZENS
Turkish individuals applying for a short-term Schengen visa must produce the following documents:
- Schengen visa fee (€80 EUR)
- 2 x passport photos
- Proof of travel medical insurance
- Proof of subsistence
- Proof of accommodation
There are extra requirements to study, work, or reside in the Schengen Area. A job contract, for example, or a letter of acceptance to a European institution. In some European nations, remote workers can apply for a digital nomad visa.
WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES ARE APPLYING FOR EU VISA LIBERALISATION?
Not only Turkey is attempting to finish the EU visa liberalisation process.
These countries include Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo are all working with the EU to negotiate the visa liberalisation process.
The ETIAS visa waiver programme, freedom of mobility, and heightened security are at the top of the process’s priority list.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS FOR TURKEY’S VISA LIBERALISATION?
The Enlargement Package for 2021 will be extended into 2022, and the European Commission will continue to negotiate with these countries that want to join the European Union.
Visa-free travel is critical for these countries to improve their citizens’ access to the European Union and relations with the Schengen area’s 26 member states.