Kazakhstan and the European Union have begun official consultations on visa facilitation for Kazakh citizens travelling to the EU.
During a visit to Brussels, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu met with European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, as well as with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, to discuss the strengthening of EU-Kazakhstan relations, including visa facilitation.
Facilitating visa application procedures is crucial for enhancing opportunities to develop people-to-people contacts, including in areas such as business or education, Borrell and Nurtleu highlighted during their meeting. Kazakhstan has already introduced a visa-free regime for citizens of all EU states in 2017, aiming to develop business cooperation, tourism and human contacts.
The on-going consultation will now also make it easier for Kazakh citizens to travel to the EU, including by reducing the list of required documents for visa applications, increasing the duration of the allowed stay and increasing the number of available visas.
The Government of Kazakhstan is actively taking measures to fight against illegal migration, Nurtleu told Johansson. The absence of migration risks to the EU along with the high human capital the country offers are among the most important reasons for easing visa application procedures, Nurtleu noting that the visa regime facilitation for Kazakhstan citizens not only meets the expectations of the public, but will also give a serious impetus to the development of the whole range of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU.
The European Union is equally interested in further strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation with Kazakhstan and is committed to expanding contacts between the citizens of the parties, Johansson ensured. According to the Commissioner, one of the important dimensions of the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the EU is maintaining a regular cultural and humanitarian exchange.