CHARLOTTE, NC, March 9, 2017 – As the summer travel season begins to unfold, be warned that there has been some nasty and confusing information floating around regarding visas in some European countries.
The misinformation probably was not intentional so much as it was misinterpreted but the end result has produced some unnecessary hand-wringing for unsuspecting passengers at the last minute.
What happened was that an administrative arm of the European Union (EU) requested another arm of the EU to institute a new regulation that requires US citizens to obtain a visa before entering any European Union country.
The request was largely symbolic and taken simply with a show of hands, but apparantly the idea was misinterpreted.
In other words, there have been no last minute visa provisions made for Americans to arrive in EU nations and, for traveler’s, at least, the status remains quo throughout the continent.
Furthermore, there not likely to be a requirement to obtain a visa at any time in the neat future for Americans going from Europe to return home or to visit other destinations.
With the dollar as strong against the Euro as it has been in some time, now is the ideal time to travel to Europe from a cost perspective.
Europeans count on Americans to visit so it would be foolish to institute a visa requirement, especially at the last minute in order generate revenue.
For any type of overall visa requirement to take effect in the EU would require considerable discussion and much negotiation that could take years to accomplish.
Truthfully, the dispute is centered more around travel coming into the U.S. by the citizens of five European countries more that the other way around.
The United States does require visas for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Poland and Cypus to enter our county. However, American citizens can come and go in all EU countries without additional papers, and the EU is simply attempting to obtain equal treatment for citizens of those countries.
It’s just another example of some “gray” area of fake news which is little more than European political posturing.
Just keep on packing, whistling a happy tune, take your jet-lag medicine as you settle back and savor the freedom of discovering old worlds beyond the new.
Once on the ground, be ceartain to keep all documents together and do not let anyone fill your ears about a visa scam. If you are not sure, go to a quality hotel concierge or a local tourist office to confirm the current regulations.
At the very least, summer is on the horizon and you should be too.
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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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