Peru’s migration authority has started issuing its first biometric passports that will allow its citizens to undertake short-term visa-free travel within the Schengen area.
The foreign ministry was positive about the development, commenting that it “places Peru in a leading position in terms of the global freedom of movement of people”.
Older versions of the passports will continue to be issued until 7 July, after which only the biometric document will be available.
There was huge demand for the new passports, as all 5,000 available appointments with migration authorities were snapped up within 24 hours. As a result, 15,000 more passports can be applied for between 3 and 7 July.
Border controls continue to be tightened across the EU as member states scramble to react to a refugee crisis that continues to escalate.
Peru needs to issue a minimum number of biometric passports in order for the European Union to exempt its citizens from visa requirements for the 22 country-strong Schengen area.
The initiative to provide a Schengen-visa exemption was first proposed in August 2013 by Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, and it was signed in Brussels the following June at the EU-CELAC summit (Community of Latin America and Caribbean States).
In order to enter the Schengen area, Peruvians will have to hold a passport that is still valid for a minimum period of three months after the scheduled date of return, a return ticket and a hotel reservation or invite from a friend or family member.
Sufficient financial resources that cover the duration of the stay will also have to be demonstrated.
This article was also published by euroefe.