U.S. tourists could soon be imposed with visas to visit Europe

Published on : Friday, March 3, 2017

business-travellersThe European Parliament recently voted to end the visa waiver program and to force Americans to apply for visas before visiting Europe. It has been a long-running transatlantic dispute.


The U.S. travellers have long been able to visit throughout Europe without any visa requirement. This was meant for stays less than 90 days. The U.S., along with Australia and Canada, however, continued to require visas for five E.U. member states: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania. The reason for this was shown as security concerns and thus did not meet the requirements for the U.S. visa waiver program.


The vote from the European Parliament is widely seen as a retaliatory move against the U.S., as Australia and Canada agreed to a 2014 E.U. request to lift visa requirements for at least some of these countries.


A Commission spokeswoman said that they will report on further progress made before the end of June and continue to work closely with both the European Parliament and the Council.


A major disincentive of this vote result will be the economic cost of imposing visa restrictions on the millions of American tourist as well as corporate and business travellers.


István Ujhelyi, member of European Parliament and chair of the tourism task force said that the effect of terrorism in Europe in recent years emphasized how fragile their appeal is as a destination in long-haul markets.

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