Americans Traveling to Europe This Summer May Need a Visa
A dispute between the U.S. and the European Union (EU) could impact Americans planning to vacation in Europe this summer. As TIME Money reports, the European Parliament has voted to impose visa requirements on Americans traveling within the 28-nation bloc by May.
The decision was a response to restrictions the U.S. currently places on five European countries. Citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania—combined, about 14 percent of the EU population—currently need to acquire visas before visiting the United States. EU lawmakers have taken a hard stance against these constraints by moving to make visas necessary for U.S. citizens entering the union, where only passports were required before.
The EU’s rules state that the EU Commission must retaliate against nations that don’t fully reciprocate their visa requirements following a two-year warning period. The U.S. was first warned of potential consequences in April 2014, and the EU says the new restrictions are overdue.
That doesn’t mean you need to scramble just yet; the resolution isn’t set in stone, and while the plan is to enact the stricter rules in two months, that will likely be delayed. The EU Commission emphasizes that they hope to reach a diplomatic solution to the problem before the May deadline rolls around (since making it more difficult for Americans to visit could hurt tourism economy). And even if the new requirements are passed, the EU says they will only be temporary.
[h/t TIME Money]