On 14 March 2016, the European Union (EU) signed a short-stay visa-waiver agreement with Peru on behalf of its Schengen Area Member States, allowing Peruvians to enter any Schengen Area country visa-free.
The agreement will apply on a provisional basis from 15 March 2016, until it is approved by the European Parliament.
However, the Peruvian authorities need to demonstrate that they issue only biometric passports by 31 July 2016, otherwise the agreement will be cancelled.
What is the Visa Waiver Agreement?
The new visa regime allows nationals of EU Schengen Area countries to stay in Peru, and Peruvian nationals to stay in EU Schengen Area countries, for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
Visa-free travel applies to all categories of persons and for any kind of purposes of travel (for instance tourism, cultural visits, scientific activities, family visits, business etc.), except to persons travelling for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.
What is the Schengen Area?
The Schengen Area consists of 22 EU Member States and four non-EU Member States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The non-EU Schengen countries are expected to sign separate equivalent visa waiver agreements in each case. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet part of the Schengen Area, but nonetheless have a visa policy that is based on the Schengen area.
The visa waiver agreements do not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland which have opted out of the Schengen area.