European Parliament Votes
It is common knowledge that there are many countries that allow their permanent residents to travel visa-free to European Schengen countries. The most prominent countries that allow visa-free travel to Schengen countries include the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, it seems like that the permanent citizens of the United States are soon going to be banned from traveling visa-free to the European countries. This report has emerged after the European Union has cast a unanimous vote in the European parliament in favor of ending the ‘visa-free access’ of American citizens to Schengen state member countries.
Reason for Vote:
There is obviously a big reason behind the strict standards that the European Union has taken against the visa-free travel of the US permanent residents. The US government has failed to cooperate with the officials of 5 member Schengen countries and therefore, denied the visa rules and regulations of 5 countries. These countries include Romania, Poland, Cyprus, Belgium, and Croatia. The laws have been denied and according to the reciprocity agreement, these member countries now have the chance to end visa-free access for US citizens.
Notification Sent out in 2014:
A notification to the European Parliament was sent out in 2014. In the official notice, it was stated clearly that the US residents have been denying the visa laws and the US government remains to be non-cooperative in this respect. A time period of 2 months i.e. 60 days has been set out to seek justice from the European court and parliament.
What does the European Union Demand?
Unified members of the European Union demand that the casted votes are considered and strict action is taken within 60 days’ time duration. The result that is being anticipated is in favor of the EU and this would mean visa-free travel being refused to all US residents in the future.
What does this mean for American Permanent Residents?
If the votes cast are approved and favored and if the law is revised, this would mean a big and drastic change for the permanent residents of America. The US citizens would no longer be able to travel to any of the mentioned European countries without a visa. Moreover, all other member Schengen countries will abide by the same law and therefore visa-free travel to more than twenty-six countries would be taken away from the US residents. This would automatically make the passport of American citizens much less powerful. Currently, it ranks on the top most positions.
What will be Visa Process?
If changes in laws are made, there will be an authentic and extensive visa process that the US permanent residents will have to go through. This includes applying for a visa to any of the Schengen member country at least 6 to 12 months prior traveling. This will also mean that at least a dozen more documents will be required to be submitted by the United States visa applicants for the visa processing to proceed further ahead.