Making Travel Plans To Europe? You Might Need A Visa For That

April 11, 2016  |  

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Want to travel to Europe?

Well, it might not be as easy as you think because the European Union (EU) is currently considering requiring U.S. citizens and Canadians to apply for visas before visiting the country of their choice, even if it’s for a short vacation. Why the change? Because Europeans need visas to enter into U.S. and Canada. CNN Money reports, “while Americans and Canadians only need a passport when visiting the EU, visitors to the U.S. from Poland, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania need a visa. Romanians and Bulgarians also need visas for Canada.”

Mina Andreeva, the spokesperson for the European Commission, shared that “the objective here is to achieve full visa waiver reciprocity for citizens of all member states and this is a priority for the European Union.” Although representatives for the U.S. government noted that the countries listed above did not meet the requirements for its Visa Waiver program, they noted they are progressing towards it.

Canada’s visa policy is also not based on reciprocity and a Canadian spokesperson from the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada revealed that “Canada must be satisfied that countries meet its criteria for a visa exemption.”

Because of this, the European Commission must propose reciprocal visa requirements for the nations that don’t allow European citizens to enter their countries without a visa, according to EU rules. The deadline for doing so is Tuesday. At a meeting this week, the commission will discuss whether to go forward with the visa suspension or not; if they choose the former the requirement will go into effect  four months later.

Because the United Kingdom and Ireland have opted out of the European Union’s visa policy, travel to those areas will still be allowed without a visa should this new requirement pass.

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