Toronto - The European Parliament has voted to bring an end to visa-free travel for Americans heading to Europe.
Toronto – The European Parliament has voted to bring an end to visa-free travel for Americans heading to Europe.
Until now, Americans traveling to European Union block countries haven’t been required to apply for a visa. Those days have come to an end, however, thanks to a vote in the European Parliament.
According to the Independent, US travelers will now have to apply for extra documents for 12 months after the European Commission implements the act. The vote was in answer to the United States requiring citizens from five EU member countries to apply for visa before entering the US.
Under a reciprocity agreement with the EU, America was to accept European Union block travelers without requiring them to apply for a visa. Three years ago, the European Commission discovered that the US wasn’t honoring the agreement where Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Cyprus were concerned.
Since then Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have been lobbying the Commission to take legal action. Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos cautioned the MPs against possible “consequences” of American “retaliation.” He also warned of a possible drop in the number of American tourists traveling to Europe, which would surely result in a costly loss of tourist revenue.
The vote to require American travelers to apply for visa for EU travel gives the Commission two months to act before MPs will be able to consider taking legal action in the European Court of Justice.
Other countries have failed similar agreements, including Canada, Australia, Brunei and Japan. These countries have either corrected the practice of requiring visas or are in the process of lifting their restrictions on EU travelers.