visa freeBeginning today (May 28, 2015) Dominicans will no longer need a visa to travel to several European states.

The exemption also applies to nationals from St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.

The agreement was signed by Dominica’s Foreign Minister, Francine Baron, in Brussels on Thursday (today).

Under the agreement Dominicans can visit the EU states for 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.

However, those traveling for the purpose of carrying out paid activities must get a visa.

The condition falls under the Schengen Area agreement which is aimed at boosting tourist arrivals to weather the harsh economic climate affecting Europe.

The Schengen Agreement, signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg in 1985, caters to the free movement of persons within Schengen area countries without internal border controls.

Head of the EU Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Mikael Barfod welcomed the signing and said: “The signing of the visa waiver agreement removes the stress and hassle for Dominicans in seeking to obtain a visa each time they have to travel to Europe. The European Union is happy to extend such a courtesy to Dominica in an effort to strengthen our people to people contact.”

As regards France and the Netherlands, the visa-free travel shall apply only to the European territory of these Member States. The visa regime between the overseas territories, including those in the Caribbean, of these Member States and the countries granted visa waiver status remains subject to bilateral arrangements between the countries concerned or to national legislation.

The list of countries that allow visa free access are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Dominica's Foreign Minister, Francine Baron, signs the agreement on Thursday

Dominica’s Foreign Minister, Francine Baron, signs the agreement on Thursday