Date published: March 04, 2017
We’re sure you’ve seen the headlines and maybe even read the articles claiming that U.S. tourists will now be required to apply for a visa in order to travel to EU countries. Most of these articles have titles saying things like EU Parliament Votes to Require Visas for U.S. Citizens or In Response to Trump Travel Ban, EU Votes to Restrict U.S. Citizens Travel and a number of other half-truth headlines designed to get you worked up about “growing tensions” between governments. In reading the articles, one finds that they are rarely backed up with any credible sources and many do not even link to where they heard the information. There is some truth to these articles, but the reality is actually quite different.
Here’s the number one thing you need to know about this rumor claiming the EU will now require U.S. citizens to apply for visas in order to travel to the Schengen countries: It’s not happening.
Very plainly, this rumor is simply not true. In fact, this discussion is nothing new. The EU has been discussing the possibility of visa requirements for U.S. travelers for many years now. However, there are many things to be considered before passing such a policy; not to mention the fact that doing so first requires a very unlikely 100% vote in favor of the policy. It’s no secret that the EU member countries feel their citizens are getting unfair treatment in regards to travel between their countries and the United States (as well as a few other countries), but it is extremely unlikely that the EU will enact any plans of reciprocation. Doing so would greatly impact tourism, trade and ultimately, the EU economy, which does not need any more destabilization.
To conclude, here are the quick facts:
1. Recent discussion for reciprocation to the U.S. visa policy has been reignited by the U.S. government not honoring their agreement to allow simple visa acquisition for travelers coming from Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Croatia and Cyprus. The U.S. has already been failing to honor this agreement for many years.
2. A 100% yes vote is required to pass a bill requiring U.S. citizens to be visa holders before entering an EU country.
3. Even if such a bill makes it to a vote in the EU parliament, it is very unlikely to pass, as this would negatively affect the European economy due to loss of tourism and trade complications.