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  • EUROPEAN UNION- US Citizens Visa-Free to Europe for Foreseeable Future

    May 26, 2017

    Citizens of the United States will continue to enjoy visa-free travel to European Union countries for the foreseeable future. Last week, the European Commission indefinitely delayed any action on the March 3, 2017, request from the European Parliament to suspend the visa-free scheme for U.S. nationals due to the U.S. refusal to open its own visa-free scheme to the EU member states of Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, and Romania. See our Blog of March 22 for more details.

    Citizens of all other EU member states currently enjoy visa-free travel to the U.S. However, to date, the U.S. has not extended that same privilege to citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, and Romania. U.S. State Department officials maintain that those nations have been unable to meet the minimum security requirements in order to be admitted to the visa-free program. This has long been a bone of contention between the U.S. and the EU, but the issue seemed to come to a head this year when Australia, Canada, Brunei, and Japan capitulated to similar demands by the EU, leaving the U.S. as the sole hold-out refusing to open its visa-free program to the remaining four European nations.

    “Tit-for-Tat” Visa War Avoided for Now

    At the time of our earlier writing, Pro-Link GLOBAL saw the potential for the action on the part of the Commission, but believed it unlikely any time soon given the huge economic interests at stake for both sides should a tit-for-tat diplomatic “visa war” ensue. However, given the rising nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic, the issue gave us pause and reason to watch the developments closely.

    Apparently, cool and level heads have prevailed, at least for the time being. Referring to the Parliament’s request for suspension of the U.S. visa-free travel privilege to Europe, the EU Commission stated that doing so,

    “…would be counterproductive at this moment, and would not serve the objective of achieving visa-free travel for all EU citizens. On the contrary, it would immediately result in retaliatory measures by the U.S., leading to the visa requirement being imposed on all E.U. citizens.”

    While negative action appears to have been averted for now, diplomats from both sides reportedly continue to discuss the issue, and the Commission has promised to report back to the Parliament by year end on the progress. Ideally, the intervening months will involve the EU and the U.S. cooperatively supporting the four nations in their efforts to meet the U.S. visa-free program requirements. Free mobility between the U.S. and Europe remains in everyone’s best interests.

    Please continue to follow Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Caveat Lector Blog, Immigration Dispatch and Global Briefs as we monitor and report on these events – and countless others from around the globe – that impact corporate mobility and international business.

    Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

    This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change at a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Knowledge Management team.

    Information contained in this Blog is prepared using information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our KGNM immigration professionals. Written permission from the copyright owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content posted or published by Pro-Link GLOBAL that extends beyond fair use or other statutory exemptions. Furthermore, responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing permission rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Interested parties are welcome to contact the Knowledge Management Department (km@pro-linkglobal.com) with any additional request for information or to request reproduction of this material.

    About Pro-Link GLOBAL

    Pro-Link GLOBAL is a corporate global immigration company with its world headquarters based in Bradenton, Florida, USA and ten regional offices worldwide. The company provides their clients with a comprehensive global immigration program: best-in-class visa and immigration services, customized direction and guidance on difficult and new locations, complementary immigration updates covering the latest immigration changes around the world, and client-specific consultations for any sized project. All of these services are backed by integrated technology and reporting capabilities that allow their clients to operate their global mobility program with ease. Please visit pro-linkglobal.com for more information.

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