Friday, June 21, 2024

European Union announces new visa requirement to enter the country

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – In a move set to impact millions of travelers, the European Union (EU) has declared that all non-EU citizens will be required to obtain a visa before entering, with the new rule coming into effect in 2024. This means that millions of people from various countries will soon need travel authorization to enter most European countries. The EU justifies this new requirement as necessary to enhance security and border control, but it is expected to significantly affect travel to the region.

Coco Shelburne, the owner of EdgeLand International Real Estate and a frequent international traveler, said her business will be impacted by the new travel rules to Europe. She expressed some discomfort with the extensive information requested during the visa application process.

“They want your criminal background no matter how old it is. They also want to know what your health status is and education. For this, this screams – it’s going to be a class situation,” Shelburne states, suspecting that the new rules may lead to discrimination.

According to the official travel site of the European Union, visitors from over 60 countries, including the United States, will be required to apply for a visa through their website or mobile app, starting in 2024. The application process will also require proof of identity, travel plans, and financial resources.

The EU is one of the most visited regions globally, attracting over 500 million visitors annually, according to officials. The vast majority of these visitors currently come from countries that will now need a visa to enter the EU. For American citizens, the visa will cost about $8, with exemptions for those under 18 and over 70, who will apply for free.

The EU expects most approvals to be processed within minutes, although some applications may take up to 30 days.

The EU authorities are confident that the new visa requirement will enhance security and border control. However, Coco Shelburne views it as problematic.

“To me, this is a big problem instead of a solution,” Shelburne said.

As the new rule takes effect on January 1, 2024 the travel industry and travelers around the world will closely observe its impact on travel to the EU.

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