Two Popular European Destinations Are Changing Entry Rules For Americans In The Near Future

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Two popular destinations in Europe Change the entry rules for American travelers In a way unrelated to the recent health crisis. They are likely to rise to the top in the near future Schengen areaa pan-European agreement to promote the movement of people and goods and abolish checks between signatories.

The town of Hvar on the island of Hvar, Croatia, seen from the top of the Adriatic Sea fortress

US passport holders are subject to screening upon entry at the Schengen border, but are not routinely screened when traveling. inside region in Europe. For example, once Americans land in France from North America, they can easily take a train to Belgium, Spain, or Italy without formal border controls. Like crossing from one US state to another.

Schengen is the final step towards full European integration, and it is the countries in question getting closer join the selected group. But why does this matter to tourism and how will it affect travelers in the long run?

The two strongest candidates for Schengen membership in Europe

Panorama of Biertan Fortified Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Transylvania, Romania, Eastern Europe

Currently, Europe’s borderless Schengen area includes 18 European Union (EU) countries and 22 member states, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Although hailed as one of the EU’s greatest achievements, it is essentially an EU mechanism. Schengen regulations do not apply to all EU countries.

EU membership may or may not be accompanied by Schengen status. The last major expansion of the region took place between 2003 and 2005, when nine European countries joined the bloc, as well as Schengen countries, and abolished all border checks. However, some famous omissionsor even repudiate the contract.

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Zagreb Cathedral and the Lower Town of Zagreb from the perspective of the Upper Town, the capital of Croatia in Central Europe

The first case applies Croatia and RomaniaThe two youngest EU countries joined in 2013 and 2007 respectively. Although they are fully integrated into the EU’s single market, they do not automatically qualify for Schengen membership due to a number of factors ranging from security concerns to border protection. .

Fortunately, they are in a now in a stronger position Compared to 10-15 years ago, they are the best candidates for Schengen, the European Commission itself approves, and they have huge support in the EU parliamentary institutions.

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How does this affect Americans traveling to Europe?

Aerial view of the old town of Rovinj, Croatia, Adriatic coast, Mediterranean Sea

After these countries enter the coveted zone, Any short stay rules will be completely revised. For American travelers, especially digital nomads, Croatia and Romania are Schengen members a reduce time They are allowed to stay in Europe as tourists.

All Schengen countries follow common immigration laws, which state that tourists cannot spend more than that 90 days in any 180 day cycle period within the zone. This effectively means time spent in Schengen member states such as Portugal, Germany, Poland, or soon to be Croatia and Romania. The 90-day limit is considered.

A man standing behind a white line and the EU flag of the European Union painted on the ground next to his backpack

Currently, staying in the Schengen area does not affect your stay in Croatia or Romania, as they maintain their own border controls and state that non-residents can stay in their respective territories for up to 90 days. Every 180 days – regardless of being in other Schengen countries or non-Schengen EU countries.

Under the current system, Americans can travel to Croatia for the entire 90 days and then enter the Schengen area or a non-Schengen EU neighbor like Romania directly for another three months without violating immigration rules. From January 2023 or after the completion of accession negotiations it will no longer be possible.

Two women walk along Lipscani Street in Bucharest, capital of Romania, Eastern Europe

For example, if you are an American citizen who traveled to France and Italy for 60 days, when you arrive at the Croatian border, you will only have 40 days left in Croatia. Once the 90-day period is over, you will need to leave the Schengen area and all member states for at least 90 days until the time is “reset”.

Finally, for countries wishing to become Schengen members, Croatia and Romania will definitely introduce a new entry-exit system (EES) fingerprints Americans and other non-EU tourists arriving in Europe to comply with the 90/180 rule, and immediately captures and processes any “overdue”.

Travelers at border controls at airports in France and Europe

Long-term travelers to the continent have a number of options to choose from as they await re-entry into Schengen, but they are left with the following, excluding all EU countries not currently in the region but intending to.

  • Albania
  • Belarus*
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • Kosovo
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine*
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*Tour is strongly recommended

Have Croatia and Romania met the requirements for Schengen membership?

Bran Castle, Dracula's Castle, Transylvania, Romania Spring Aerial

Croatia is a coastal country on the Adriatic coast, bordering non-EU and non-Schengen countries such as Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro. Croatia is a landlocked landlocked area, so border protection is very difficult at some points along the coast.

In fact, its coast is split in two by the Bosnian-controlled Neum Corridor, making it impossible for tourists to reach Dubrovnik by land without passing through a third country. Europe takes the issue of sovereignty very seriouslyCroatia’s unique geography was often perceived as a disadvantage if it ever joined Schengen.

Peljesac Bridge, South Dalmatia, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Southeast Europe

Those concerns were short-lived: this year, a new bridge paralleling Bosnia’s short coastline opened, linking mainland Croatia with the southern enclave of Neum, allowing the flow of people into EU territory. In addition, the country successfully adopted the euro as its national currency in January. Causing the skeptic wing of the EU to soften its stance.

The main concern from the Romanian side cross-border crime and corruption. Other EU countries, including the Netherlands, have repeatedly called for Romania to “further investigate border controls” before allowing it to join Schengen, arguing that “organized crime” in the Eastern region poses a threat to all of Europe.

A Romanian flag flies over an unidentified government building overlooking a fountain in Bucharest, Romania, Eastern Europe

To join the group All 22 participating countries must agree to this process agree with the country seeking to abolish internal control of foreign passports. The unanimity rule has caused problems in both Croatia and Romania, which have repeatedly been vetoed by western EU countries on the grounds that reforms still need to be made.

Since then, they have been strengthening their internal security in hopes of meeting the demands of their partners. EU representatives have repeatedly been told to go back to the drawing board after years of back-to-back negative reports.

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Will Croatia and Romania be part of Schengen by 2023?

Tourists walk through the grounds of Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

Fortunately, Romania passed its latest test this week after Dutch Secretary of State Erik van der Burgh confirmed that the country has met the conditions to become part of Schengen. The announcement thawed decades of Romanian-Dutch tensions The Netherlands announced it would lift its ban.

After the Netherlands’ approval, the European Commission reaffirmed that Croatia and Romania meet the criteria, but a final decision will be made only after a final vote this December. Seeing that the Dutch had confirmed that they would offer no further objections No other Schengen country has publicly opposed the resolutionIt can be concluded that they are on their way to become a couple of Southeast Europe Full members of Schengen By 2023.

A young female tourist looks at a medieval castle in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on the Adriatic coast

currently an official date has not been announcedAlthough the Croatian authorities hope that the country will cancel the border regulations with the closest Schengen countries, Slovenia and Hungary. January 1. Meanwhile, three other EU member states still exist outside the Schengen Agreement: Bulgaria, Cyprus and Ireland.

Similar to its previous views on Romania, the Netherlands saw a corrupt Bulgaria as “responsible” for progress in European integration, despite the Commission’s own recommendation that the Balkan country should be admitted alongside Croatia and Romania. On the other hand, Cyprus is also unable to continue negotiations due to Turkish occupation and unresolved disputes.

Of them, Only Ireland abstained from the talksIt prefers to maintain a common tourism area with the UK, which is not a member of the EU.

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