A visa is an entry permit that allows you to enter another country legally. However, travellers won’t always need a visa when travelling to another state; most countries have a visa liberalization agreement that allows visitors to travel between countries visa-free.

Usually, visa-free regimes are applied only for tourist or business purposes and allow short stays between 30 up to 90 days, but visitors still need a valid travel document. Countries may have a visa-free agreement with one another because of the following reasons:

  • Good diplomatic relationship.
  • Nationals of the beneficial country are unlikely to illegally overstay in the visa-free country.
  • The beneficial country is economically developed.

Does eVisa Mean Visa-Free?

No, eVisa does not mean visa-free entry. While visitors who enter countries with eVisa requirements don’t need a traditional visa, they still need a digital permit to enter a specific country.

Visa Facilitation Agreements in the World

Some of the most recognized visa agreements include the following: 

  • The Schengen Agreement. 26 European countries have signed the Schengen Agreement allowing their citizens to move between member countries visa-free. 
  • The US Visa Waiver Program. This arrangement allows citizens of 40 countries to enter the US without a visa, but they need to be registered in ESTA prior to entering the country. 
  • Bilateral Agreement between the US and Canada. US and Canadian citizens can travel across the two countries without a visa by using either; their passport, a border crossing card, or an enhanced driver’s license. 
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Citizens of the following countries can travel without a visa in between members of the GCC, such as: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates.
  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Citizens from 15 member states in the ECOWAS can enter without a visa and stay for 90 days. However, visitors must have a valid travel document and a vaccination certificate. 
  • East African Community. Six East African countries belong to this agreement, and their citizens can travel visa-free in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.
  • Commonwealth Agreement. Citizens of certain commonwealth countries can enter visa-free in member states. 
  • The Association of the Southeast Asian Nations. There are ten member states in this agreement allowing their members to travel visa-free across the states. 
  • Commonwealth of Independent States. This agreement was created after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the citizens of the member states could enter without a visa. Still, there are exceptions between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 
  • Bilateral Agreement between Nepal and India. Citizens of India and Nepal can travel visa-free between these two countries and live there without a visa. 
  • Mercosur Agreement. The Mercosur Agreement allows for visa-free travel for citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay.