• Commission to Announce Decision Regarding Temporary Suspension of Visa Waiver Policy for U.S. and Canadian Nationals
  • August 3, 2016
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • European Union

    On July 13, the European Commission is expected to announce a decision about the temporary suspension of the visa waiver offered to U.S. and Canadian nationals. The European Parliament and/or the Council can reject the proposal during the next stage of review and no immediate changes are expected for visa requirements for U.S. and Canadian nationals traveling to the European Union.

    Background

    The Commission adopted a policy paper urging the European Parliament and Council to assess the proposal of a suspension by July 12. Although some Members of the European Parliament have been quite vocal about the need to pursue full reciprocity, no official position has come from either EU institution thus far. The Commission will announce its decision on July 13. Following this announcement, the Parliament and Council have four months to approve or reject the decision. Given the political sensitivity of this issue, the Council and/or the European Parliament are likely to object if a suspension is proposed.

    This proposal occurs in the wake of these countries not allowing reciprocal visa-free travel to some EU nationals.

    Since the adoption of the policy paper in April, Brunei has removed visa restrictions to all EU nationals.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Depending on the Parliament’s and Council’s review of the Commission’s proposal regarding the visa waiver policy, employers of nationals from Canada and the United States planning short stays in the European Union should be aware of the unlikely, but possible future visa requirements.

    Fragomen will continue monitoring and reporting related developments.