Europe Might Require Visas for Americans and Canadians

Be on the lookout. Americans and Canadians might need a visa on their next business trip or holiday to Europe.

The European Union is now considering a requirement that all Americans as well as Canadians apply for a visa, even if they just want to visit for short period.

Officials in Europe said they are considering suspending the program of visa waiver for the United States and Canada due to both countries still requiring some of the countries in the EU to apply for visas.

While people from the U.S. and Canada only require a passport when visiting any member of the EU, visitors to the United States from Croatia, Poland, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria all need visas.

Bulgarians and Romanians also require visas to enter Canada. The objection, said a European Commission spokesperson is to achieve complete visa waiver reciprocity for the citizens of every member state and it is a priority for the EU.

The government of the U.S. said that countries that were in questions had yet to met requirements needed to the Visa Waiver Program

An official with the State Department said the country was maintaining open dialogue with each country about the requirements of the program and how each one of the five was progressing.

The visa policy for Canada is not based upon reciprocity.

A spokesperson said that Canada needed to be satisfied that the countries meet its own criteria for complete visa exemption.

Under the rules of the EU, reciprocal visa requirement must by proposed by the European Commission for countries that do not allow EU citizens to have visa free travel for two years after notified of this situation.

The deadline passes on Tuesday. The commission has said it would discuss the issue next week at a meeting. It will discuss moving forward with this change and would take force four months afterwards provided a majority of member states in the EU and the European Parliament agree.

Americans could still travel free of a visa to Ireland as well as the UK, the only two EU members states that opted out of the common visa policy of the EU.


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