(Newswire.net— March 10, 2019) — In less than two years, US travelers will have to apply for visas if they want to visit some European Union member countries, Russia Today reports, citing the EU press release.
In accordance with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) Americans would have to pass a security check in order to visit EU countries.
Once granted, the visa will last for three years, allowing Americans to make multiple trips to Europe.
In order to travel to France for example, US citizens would have to fill in an online form and pay a fee. EU authorities would then run a light security check and issue a travel permit.
According to the EU press release, the ETIAS fee would cost 7 Euros which is roughly $8. The EU officials say that the visas will be granted in a minute after a routine check through a database which would grant visas almost immediately to a 95% to all applicants with a US passport.
It is unclear though whom the remaining 5% will address but rejected US citizens will be able to make the decision of contesting the recejtion.
The measure is tit for tat because the US won’t give free access to some EU member countries, CNN’s Richard Quest commented on the new measures. While the most EU countries (23) are visa free regarding travel to the US, the citizens of Poland, Croatia, Cyprus and Bulgaria still need visas.
US authorities say that the visa regime for some EU countries is in place due to the lack of security in those countries. However, other countries including Canada, Australia and Japan don’t see the countries in question as a security risk, no more than any other EU member country, said Claude Moreas, chair of the EU Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties.
“Only the United States is doing this” Moreas told CNN’s Richard Quest emphasizing that the reciprocity means all for all. Moreas argued that If all the US citizens can travel to the EU without visas than all of the EU citizens must be granted the same liberties.
The new system, however, is going to be much easier than procedures for obtaining regular visas. The application, for instance, will not require a personal interview or extensive background checks.