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Visa Waiver for Five Countries on EU-US Agenda of Talks

A transatlantic dispute running since 2014 which does not allow nationals of five EU countries, namely Cyprus, Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, to enter the US without a visa, was on the agenda of talks between EU and US justice and home affairs ministers in Washington DC, last week.

The two sides said progress had been made by the five countries towards being considered for visa-free travel into the US, with both sides agreeing to meet again in the first half of 2019 in Bucharest.

“The United States and the European Union agreed on the importance of advancing towards reciprocal visa free travel under their respective legal frameworks and, following the most recent tripartite meeting on visa reciprocity, welcomed the progress of the five concerned member states towards meeting the statutory requirements of the visa waiver program, in order to be considered for designation in the program,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Under the current deal, nationals of 23 out of the 28 EU member states are allowed to enter the US without a visa.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. Photo source: ec.europa.eu

Dimitris Avramopoulos. Photo source: ec.europa.eu

Backed by the European Commission, Cyprus, Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania have repeatedly called on Brussels to end US discrimination against their citizens as EU rules call for equal treatment for all its citizens.

On the sidelines of the meeting, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos discussed immigration, the fight against terrorism, border management and cooperation in the field of drug control with justice ministers from Austria and Romania.

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  1. ICraig Reply

    Doesn’t really matter by the time they will include in waiver program Croatia,Cyprus,Poland,Bulgaria and Romania the nationals of those countries might not be so eager to travel to US when they can spend their hard money in other nations more interested as history than US,it is a slap in face and a insult to those nations that contribute to NATO and be faithful allies to US,and strategically speaking those countries on those times are more important than Germany and France,not to mention i believe why will they be interested those nationals overstay visa in US when they can work legally in any country from EU and probably earn more money they will earn in US if they will have work illegally to odds jobs in US

  2. Pablo Reply

    EU was always about exploitation of its member states by Germany. If EU actually adhered to its alleged policy of equal treatment of the member states, US citizens would have had a visa requirements placed years ago. Germany is worried that they may lose the tourists from the US so they are blocking the implementation of EU framework. That’s pretty much it – all those meetings regarding reciprocity are pointless. Their purpose is to eat, drink and travel at the tax payer expense without committing to anything. SHAME

  3. Jack Vinci Reply

    It’s a shame that US uses poor units of measurement to decide whether to include one state on that list or not. A ton of countries would qualify if DHS or whoever is deciding upon those decisions, would take in consideration overstay rates which are low for some countries, Cyprus and Croatia in particular. Well, I guess that the govt. knows better. Let’s just those hope fellow Europeans could come and visit anytime they like just like other nations in the union.

  4. Helena Reply

    As of 2021, the European Commission is preparing a travel permit that will be required by citizens of more than 60 countries who do not need a visa if they want to travel to Europe.

    It will be called ETIAS and will operate similar to ESTA for the United States or ETA for Canada. All the information is on this website: http://www.etias.info

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