contents table Lexparency.org lexp
Listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement
Article 8

Article 8

  1. By way of derogation from Article 4, the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of a third country listed in Annex II shall be temporarily suspended, based on relevant and objective data, in accordance with this Article.
  2. A Member State may notify the Commission if it is confronted, over a two-month period, compared with the same period in the preceding year or compared with the last two months prior to the implementation of the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of a third country listed in Annex II, with one or more of the following circumstances:
    1. a substantial increase in the number of nationals of that third country refused entry or found to be staying in the Member State's territory without a right to do so;
    2. a substantial increase in the number of asylum applications from the nationals of that third country for which the recognition rate is low;
    3. a decrease in cooperation on readmission with that third country, substantiated by adequate data, in particular a substantial increase in the refusal rate of readmission applications submitted by the Member State to that third country for its own nationals or, where a readmission agreement concluded between the Union or that Member State and that third country so provides, for third-country nationals having transited through that third country;
    4. an increased risk or imminent threat to the public policy or internal security of Member States, in particular a substantial increase in serious criminal offences, linked to the nationals of that third country, substantiated by objective, concrete and relevant information and data provided by the competent authorities.

    The notification referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph shall state the reasons on which it is based and shall include relevant data and statistics as well as a detailed explanation of the preliminary measures that the Member State concerned has taken with a view to remedying the situation. In its notification, the Member State concerned may specify the categories of nationals of the third country concerned which are to be covered by an implementing act under point (a) of paragraph 6, specifying the detailed reasons for doing so. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council immediately of such notification.

  3. Where the Commission, taking into account the relevant data, reports and statistics, has concrete and reliable information that the circumstances referred to in point (a), (b), (c) or (d) of paragraph 2 are occurring in one or more Member States, or that the third country is not cooperating on readmission, in particular where a readmission agreement has been concluded between that third country and the Union, the Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council promptly of its analysis, and the provisions of paragraph 6 shall apply.

    For the purposes of the first subparagraph, non-cooperation on readmission may consist in, for instance:

    • refusing or failing to process readmission applications in due time;
    • failing to issue travel documents in due time for the purposes of returning within the deadlines set out in the readmission agreement or refusing to accept European travel documents issued following the expiry of the deadlines set out in the readmission agreement; or
    • terminating or suspending the readmission agreement.
  4. The Commission shall monitor the continuous compliance with the specific requirements, which are based on Article 1 and which were used to assess the appropriateness of granting visa liberalisation, by the third countries whose nationals have been exempted from the visa requirement when travelling to the territory of Member States as a result of the successful conclusion of a visa liberalisation dialogue conducted between the Union and that third country.

    In addition, the Commission shall report regularly to the European Parliament and to the Council, at least once a year, for a period of seven years after the date of entry into force of visa liberalisation for that third country, and thereafter whenever the Commission considers it to be necessary, or upon request by the European Parliament or by the Council. The report shall focus on the third countries which the Commission considers, based on concrete and reliable information, are no longer complying with certain requirements.

    Paragraph 6 shall apply where a report of the Commission shows that one or more of the specific requirements is no longer complied with as regards a particular third country.

  5. The Commission shall examine any notification made pursuant to paragraph 2, taking the following into account:
    1. whether any of the circumstances referred to in paragraph 2 exist;
    2. the number of Member States affected by any of the circumstances referred to in paragraph 2;
    3. the overall impact of the circumstances referred to in paragraph 2 on the migratory situation in the Union as it appears from the data provided by the Member States or available to the Commission;
    4. the reports prepared by the European Border and Coast Guard, the European Asylum Support Office or the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) or any other institution, body, office or agency of the Union or international organisation competent in matters covered by this Regulation, if the circumstances so require in the specific case;
    5. the information which the Member State concerned may have given in its notification in relation to possible measures under point (a) of paragraph 6;
    6. the overall question of public policy and internal security, in consultation with the Member State concerned.

    The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of the results of its examination.

  6. Where, on the basis of the analysis referred to in paragraph 3, the report referred to in paragraph 4, or the examination referred to in paragraph 5, and taking into account the consequences of a suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement for the external relations of the Union and its Member States with the third country concerned, while working in close cooperation with that third country to find alternative long-term solutions, the Commission decides that action is needed, or where a simple majority of Member States have notified the Commission of the existence of circumstances referred to in point (a), (b), (c) or (d) of paragraph 2, the following provisions shall apply:
    1. the Commission shall adopt an implementing act temporarily suspending the exemption from the visa requirement for the nationals of the third country concerned for a period of nine months. The suspension shall apply to certain categories of nationals of the third country concerned, by reference to the relevant types of travel documents and, where appropriate, to additional criteria. When deciding to which categories the suspension is to apply, the Commission shall, based on the information available, include categories that are broad enough in order to efficiently contribute to remedying the circumstances referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 in each specific case, while respecting the principle of proportionality. The Commission shall adopt the implementing act within one month of:
      1. receiving the notification referred to in paragraph 2;
      2. being made aware of the information referred to in paragraph 3;
      3. presenting the report referred to in paragraph 4; or
      4. receiving the notification from a simple majority of Member States of the existence of circumstances referred to in point (a), (b), (c) or (d) of paragraph 2.

      That implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2). It shall fix the date on which the suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement is to take effect.

      During the period of suspension, the Commission shall establish an enhanced dialogue with the third country concerned with a view to remedying the circumstances in question.

    2. Where the circumstances referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this Article persist, the Commission shall adopt, at the latest two months before the expiry of the nine-month period referred to in point (a) of this paragraph, a delegated act in accordance with Article 10, temporarily suspending the application of Annex II for a period of 18 months for all nationals of the third country concerned. The delegated act shall take effect from the date of expiry of the implementing act referred to in point (a) of this paragraph and shall amend Annex II accordingly. That amendment shall be made by inserting a footnote next to the name of the third country in question, indicating that the exemption from the visa requirement is suspended with regard to that third country and specifying the period of that suspension.

    Where the Commission has submitted a legislative proposal pursuant to paragraph 7, the period of suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement provided for in the delegated act shall be extended by six months. The footnote shall be amended accordingly.

    Without prejudice to the application of Article 6, during the period of suspension, the nationals of the third country concerned shall be required to be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Member States.

    A Member State which, in accordance with Article 6, provides for new exemptions from the visa requirement for a category of nationals of the third country covered by the act suspending the exemption from the visa requirement shall communicate those measures in accordance with Article 12.

  7. Before the end of the period of validity of the delegated act adopted pursuant to point (b) of paragraph 6, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council. The report may be accompanied by a legislative proposal to amend this Regulation in order to transfer the reference to the third country concerned from Annex II to Annex I.
  8. Where the Commission has submitted a legislative proposal pursuant to paragraph 7, it may extend the validity of the implementing act adopted pursuant to point (a) of paragraph 6 of this Article by a period not exceeding 12 months. The decision to extend the validity of the implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 11(2).