Americans May Soon Need A Visa to Visit Europe
So Much for Good Karma !!!!!
According to The New York Times, European Union lawmakers voted on Thursday, March 3rd to deny US travelers visa- free access to all EU member states. With the move, The European Commission has license to act if the US does not change it’s policy. But what does this actually mean for Americans —- and why is it happening now ??????
Now let us delve into the situation……
At its core, the issue is about reciprocity —– while Americans can currently visit any EU country without a visa,,,,, not every EU member nation gets the same privileges the other way around. At present, Europeans with passports from 23 member states, including France, Italy, The Netherlands, and Sweden can enter the US without a visa ,,,, but 5 EU members —- Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania —- are not part of the waiver program for the US or Canada. It appears the whole EU is fed up. !!!!!
This is not the first time the US has been warned :::: Years ago, America agreed to a timetable to add EU states to its visa free list,…. When it did not appear to be making progress, it received a “notice ” in 2014. The European Parliament and European Commission revisited the issue last April, when the 2 year warning period expired. Canada, Australia, Brunei, and Japan were also warned along with the US and all have lifted their visa requirements except Canada, which will do so in December.
The lack of visa reciprocity affects at least 14 per cent of EU citizens, namely the citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus and Poland as well as some EU citizens with dual nationality. Admittedly, the US Dept of Homeland Security, referenced in a 2016 report, says that it excludes those 5 countries because more than 3 percent of their applicants for visas to the US are denied for one reason or another — A standard that the DHS hols for all countries when considering them for Visa Waiver Program.
Do not worry about your European vacation just yet. The EU Commission most likely will not respond until summer. Their is a EU and US meeting scheduled on June 15 to try and solve this sticky issue. If the requirements are reinstated, EU lawmakers also note that they would be temporary until reciprocity is achieved.
Even a pause in visa- free crossings could lead to a significant dip tourism and business travel to EU nations, two huge sources of revenue. The move would also be detrimental to the US too,,,, The countries passport is one the most powerful in the world,, but losing visa- free travel to all of the European Union’s member states could lead to a tumble in the rankings ,, according to Passport Index. That means that American travelers,,, so used to easy access to other countries,,, will have a harder time crossing borders than a Mexican passport holder.
Hopefully,,, this gets rectified soon…
HAPPY TRAVELING !!!!!!!