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U.S. Embassy: Slovakia should meet visa-free regime criteria

Slovakia is expected to have met the criteria to be considered for a visa-free regime with the United States of America when new data on the number of rejected visa applications is released on September 30, 2008, U.S. embassy officials said on Thursday, February 14.

Slovakia is expected to have met the criteria to be considered for a visa-free regime with the United States of America when new data on the number of rejected visa applications is released on September 30, 2008, U.S. embassy officials said on Thursday, February 14.

Between October 1,2006 - September 30, 2007, around 12 percent of visa applications submitted by Slovak citizens were rejected by U.S. consulates, which meant that the country exceeded the 10-percent limit set for visas to be abolished.

European Voice magazine claimed recently that the U.S.A. is expected to introduce visa-free regimes for six EU-member states, excluding Slovakia. Greece, with rejected applications reaching only 1.6 percent of the total, is due to secure a visa-free regime this month or next. The other five countries expected to follow suit by the end of this year are Cyprus (with rejected applications at 1.8 percent of the total), Malta (2.7 percent), Estonia (4.0 percent), the Czech Republic (6.7 percent), and Hungary (10.3 percent). Countries whose chances are more in doubt are Slovakia (12 percent), Latvia (11.8 percent) and Lithuania (12.9 percent). TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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