Traveling To Europe
(July 30) AP Travel Europe was complicated this week because of a hodgepodge of EU regulation and admission requirements. The European Union’s declaration on Monday to take down the US from its group of safe nations because of a surge in CO VID cases, effectively recommending a ban on all other non-essential travel like vacations, adds to more confusion for travelers with booked flights and plane tickets. The sudden move by the European Union (EU) comes after the EU extended its existing visa requirement to citizens of the country. Now visa requirements apply not only to citizens of the EU, but also to citizens of some European countries who are traveling outside the EU. Passport applications will also be subject to the tougher EU immigration rules. The new rules are set to start on August 1st.
In short: stay home if you don’t want to get banned. The EU is warning American travelers that staying over the summer can put them at risk for tracking their movements or obtaining unauthorized documentation in Europe. The new rules affect US citizens who travel to Europe and use some or all of the facilities provided by the E visa. The restriction affects both American and European visitors who stay in Europe. According to the EU, these travelers should apply for an E visa before traveling, otherwise they will be turned away from the continent for good. If you plan to travel to Europe this summer, it would be best to book your trip as early as possible.
What does the EU’s travel restrictions mean for American travelers? While there is no legal definition, the general meaning of the ban is to prevent travel to and within the European Union for citizens of the seven affected nations. There are some aspects that can help inform us Americans about the situation. For example, some EU countries, like France and Italy, allow dual citizenship (i.e. American citizens can live in European countries without a visa).
Certain types of visas and passports are not affected by the ban. Passport applications from American travelers must be approved based on the security and economic importance of the United States. This means that people with American passports can still travel to Europe, but must use an American passport to do so. Some aspects of the travel advisory also pertain to American travelers using tourist visas. Some of the measures, like the requirement for passenger locator services might not be applied to passengers using non-immigrant visas.
As for the US citizens, those allowed to travel to Europe must use a non-immigrant visa for the duration of the period of social distancing. For instance, a person could be allowed to stay in one country for three months, but must use a visa to enter another country for the same period. There are measures being taken to prevent US citizens who are traveling to certain European countries from using public services, like the State Department or the Department of Homeland Security. In addition to the restrictions placed on travelers to other EU countries, there is also a ban on travellers coming from Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Yemen.
The visa requirements for US citizens and other eligible international travelers are not expected to change. However, the expected increase in travel from Asia, South America, and other destinations will likely cause a change in visa requirements for international travelers moving into these areas. While some may be able to avoid the extra paperwork by checking out visa numbers prior to their travel, others will have to seek a visa after their arrival to avoid the possibility of being denied entry to the country. Those applying for travel to Europe should make sure to get a visa before departure.
For international travelers who are travelling to other European countries, there are some precautions that can lessen the risk of having a difficult time entering the country. For starters, US citizens will need to secure special authorization from the Department of Homeland Security before heading to Europe. Another way to help avoid detection is by making sure you are carrying proper documentation, such as your passport. The Department of Homeland Security offers a EUROS visa, which allows dual citizenship (American and European) applicants to use both passports when visiting Europe. This is an excellent way for Europeans and Americans to enjoy the benefits of traveling throughout the continent without having to worry about detection.
It is also recommended that American citizens traveling to Europe follow a few simple steps to ensure they are not prevented from travelling to another destination. Before leaving for any European location, whether it is for business or pleasure, US citizens must consult with the department about the safety measures necessary to travel safely. Passport applications can be filled out at any US embassy and should be stamped with the appropriate information. Those applying for visas will need to show proof of vaccinations at the time of application. These steps should all be followed to minimize the risks of traveling to Europe.