11 Oct 2016

Solomon Islanders get visa-free access to Europe

12:12 pm on 11 October 2016

Solomon Islands passport holders can now travel within Europe visa-free for up to 90 days.

The deal, signed in Brussels, applies to the so-called Schengen area which however excludes the Solomon Islands former colonial ruler, Britain.

Solomon Islands joins nine other countries in the Pacific that have signed the same agreement with the EU, including Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

There is no such agreement with the two largest Pacific Island countries, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

A policy officer for EU's Visa Policy office Guido Schwarz said the list is reviewed periodically based on several criteria; these include migration, security, economic benefit, human rights and reciprocity.

He said it is unlikely another review will be undertaken in the near future due to the current refugee crisis faced by many European countries.

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