U.S passport holders had special privilege of traveling to any European nation without the need of a visa for stay of less than 90 days. But as per latest reports, there is news that from now on, U.S passport holders will need visa to make entry into a European nation. And quite obviously, US citizens are not happy with the decision. There are mixed reactions on the issue and no final stand has yet been taken.
In the European Union parliament, a vote was passed in which they decided to put an end to the visa-waiver program in which U.S passport holders could travel to any European nation without the need of applying for a visa for the same.
The actual reason of the vote is total lack of reciprocity between the U.S and the visa waiver program of the EU. It was the U.S State Department, which refused to include Croatia, Bulgaria, Poland, Cyprus and Romania – 5 prominent EU member states in the visa waiver program. The reason U.S cited for the same was that the countries did not meet security requirements in the way it should. The EU needs reciprocity from all members in the bloc. As a result, it has started applying pressure on U.S so that they would change the policy.
In a survey that was conducted on 1,200 domestic U.S travelers, about 50% opined that that they did not agree to the move of imposing visa restrictions for Europe travel for U.S passport holders. 35% travelers were however in support of the decision, while 15% did not have any opinion regarding the matter.
The executive branch of European Union has the power of stopping this process from moving forward. But whether the step will be implemented or not is still unclear. One thing is clear from this move that the restrictions that are being thought of being implemented have not much to do with security measures; but they are being done as a result of diplomatic reciprocity. Travel experts as well as members of EU parliament agree with this fact.
If U.S citizens are compelled to apply for visa for making entry into European nation, it will be visa on arrival in the country. Many countries in the world have this visa system. A small processing fee s needed for the service, which is generally less than $100. As per an experienced travel expert, there are many ways in which the visa restriction can be implemented, without causing much disturbance. Time will tell what result comes of the decision finally.