In the past week, there have been some confusing and misinterpreted reports about purported visa requirements for US citizens to travel to Europe. Here at AffordableTours.com we felt like we needed to chime in and clarify: no visa requirement has been added for US citizens traveling to Europe. Period. It is highly unlikely there will ever be one. There. We can now stop the panic.
- The visa waiver program started in 2001, and it allows US passport holders to travel to Europe for up to 90 days on business or leisure, without a visa.
- Likewise, the U.S. has extended the same courtesy to citizens of most EU countries to travel visa-free to the US, with five exceptions: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.
- With its simple ‘show of hands’ vote, European lawmakers pushed this symbolic gesture forward, just as a figurative retaliation for the United States not allowing visa-free travel for citizens of those 5 listed countries.
- For any shuttering of the visa waiver program to take effect, the European Parliament and individual European governments would have to officially approve the move, which is highly unlikely.
- Again, this recently nonbinding vote will not actually change the way US citizens travel to Europe.
The visa waiver program for U.S. citizens visiting Europe has easily facilitated both business and leisure travel. Both economies benefit greatly from the millions of US travelers who visit EU countries every year. Recently, the number of travelers to Europe began skyrocketing and there is no end in sight. Between the years of 2014-2019, US travel to the EU is slated to increase by over 5%, according the European Travel Commission.
AffordableTours.com can assure you that there is no better time to travel to Europe than right now. Compared to last year, 2017 is already seeing a record shattering amount of travelers to Europe. In combination with all of the discounts we have plus limited availability, you should be planning your Europe vacation right now.
The final word: No, you don’t need a visa to visit Europe.