EU Parliament votes to End Visa-Free Travel for Americans!

Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France


The European Parliament, that meets in Strasbourg, France, voted to end visa-free travel for Americans within the EU.  This move is in retaliation to US’s decision to not grant visa free travel for citizens of 5 EU Countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania.

Per the article in the Independent, “The vote urges the revocation of the scheme within two months, meaning Americans will have to apply for extra documents for 12 months after the European Commission implements a “delegated act” to bring the change into effect.” While “the Commission is legally obliged to act to suspend the visa waiver for Americans, the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union has the chance to object to the delegated act”

However, I wouldn’t hold much hope: because as things currently stand, the end of visa-free travel to Europe only looks like a matter of time.  And, regardless of where your politics lie, this move will come as a huge blow if you’re an American traveller.  The US tourism industry has already taken some heavy blows thanks to the Trump Travel Ban.  The European Union tourism industry will probably take an even bigger hit since Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain are all in the top 10 countries visited by American tourists.  It will also be interesting to see how this will affect the business side of things as quite a few American companies ship their employees back and forth across the Atlantic.

All in all, this is bad for everyone involved.  2017 is off to a rocky start.  Sigh…


    1. wildsman

      I hope so.. I’m afraid that there may be more political pressure on the countries to retaliate given the unpopularity of Trump and his travel bans.

      I feel that the US’s exclusion of Poland (a Schengen country) might be a deal breaker for them.

      Either way – I hope you’re right.

    2. jason

      A few years ago we all changed passports to comply with “biometric” info.
      Using that platform it would have been easy to detect entry irregularities, no? That was the idea. You are either stop at check in or at the entry based on shared criminal or irregular behavior….. all computerized.

      I think we wasted our money,

    1. grabamile

      Yeah. It shouldn’t be a concern for UK, SUI, Norway and some other countries which don’t entire participate within the EU. I see ETA or visa on arrival to be a possibility for some of these countries if this does pass. Tourism is a big part of much of Europe and this would hurt a lot.

  1. grabamile

    I somehow doubt this will happen in practice. The worst case scenario I see out of this is a visa on arrival for Americans or an ETA like Australia. But it is still a little scary what could happen if the rhetoric of both sides continues.

  2. wildsman

    Because of EU requirements and agreements, all of these countries have freedom of movement with each other (no visas etc) and I believe only Croatia is excluded from the list of Freedom of Movement for workers.

    Having said that – I agree with you that it is definitely a bit hypocritical of them since the reasons 4 out of these 5 countries are being excluded from joining the Schengen Area are the same that Trump is citing for denying them visa-free entry.

  3. jason

    It will happen.

    Here is the issue: A good number of non-EU nationals bear EU passports.
    (an example could be a Yemeni born German citizen ).
    The same goes for US. (Somali born US citizens)

    Intel agencies on both sides are pushing for stricter entry requirements.
    It is just a matter of time.

    I dont like it but it the new normal

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