2015: Year of the Schengen for Peruvians?


Like a high school graduate waiting for college acceptance, Peruvians are kept in anticipation to find out just when and where they will be free to travel- free to travel with less restrictive visa regulations, that is.

Peru is currently waiting for approval from the European nations that make up the Schengen group, however only a few hurdles remain and many expect the waiver to be implemented by early 2015. The European Union needs to draft a report that addresses such issues as immigration, economic benefits of tourism and trade, as well as the diplomatic relations between Peru and the EU.

If the current visa regulations are exonerated, Peruvians would be able to visit the 26 countries that belong to the Schengen area. However, travelers would be welcome for a maximum of 90 days. Peruvian citizens would be free to move within the countries with solely the requirement that one has a passport.

The Schengen area was established in 1995 to encourage the free movement of goods, information, money and people. The 26 countries that are members agreed to abolish any type of border control between fellow members. In turn, external border control, meaning among countries excluded from the Schengen area, has been increased. Among the countries included are Germany, France, Greece and Belgium.

In terms of international travel purposes, members of the Schengen area function as a single country.

At the moment, Peru is reportedly in talks with the United States to create a similar visa agreement. According to Peru´s Foreign Minister, Gonzalo Gutierrez,“this procedure will take longer than the one with the European Union, but we are heading in that direction,” he added with confidence.

Before the visa-free agreement between the U.S. and Peru can be cleared, issues related to terrorism and air transportation regulations need to be discussed.
Accessibility and ease could be a reality for Peruvians interested in travelling north.