Looking For A Solution

North Americans planning on travelling to mainland Europe could soon be faced with the prospect of having to obtain a visa if a Euro-ruling goes against Canada and the US next month, reports Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

The looming crisis has prompted the International Air Transport Association to call on the three parties to find a solution that will avoid jeopardizing the future of the EU-US/Canada visa waiver program.

At issue is a 2014 reciprocity clause that was added to the legislation governing the Schengen Agreement that provides for borderless travel between European Union countries as well as a common visa policy for all EU member states.

Right now, under the terms of the visa waiver program, most but not all EU citizens can visit Canada and the USA visa-free, with the same access being granted to Canadians and Americans visiting the EU.

Both Canada and the United States currently require visas for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, while the US list also includes visitors from Croatia, Cyprus and Poland.

In a briefing paper distributed at IATA’s recently concluded annual meeting in Dublin, the association explained, “Under the reciprocity clause, visa-free access to EU countries – except the UK and Ireland – can only be granted to citizens of a third country if that third country offers reciprocal visa-free access.”

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press by clicking here.