Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Mon April 11 2016

European Union Considering Visa Requirements for American and Canadian Travelers

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | April 11, 2016

European Union Considering Visa Requirements for American and Canadian Travelers

European Union officials are expected to meet Tuesday to consider changes to visa requirements for travelers from the United States and Canada if the governments do not agree to add more European Union member countries to their visa-free travel lists.

According to Reuters, the European Commission will make a decision by April 12 on whether to demand visas from countries that opt-out of the European Union common visa policy, including the United States and Canada.

The countries not currently on the visa-free travel list for both the U.S. and Canada are Romania and Bulgaria, while the American government also requires visas from travelers visiting from Croatia, Cyprus and Poland.

The Canadian immigration service has stated that both Romania and Bulgaria do not meet the necessary requirements—such as migration issues, public safety, border management and others—to be included on the visa-free travel list.

There are also questions about how feasible the threats from the European Union are as the decision could damage the lucrative tourist industry on the continent.

Reuters is reporting that even if the European Commission introduces the new visas for travelers from the U.S. and Canada, the European Parliament or the European Council would be able to overrule the decision if needed.

The timing of the discussion is noteworthy as U.S. President Barack Obama will be arriving in Europe next week. Officials from Brussels and America are hoping to hammer out further details of the transatlantic agreement (TTIP) at a trade fair in Hanover on April 24 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


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