Five EU member states were the subject of recent negotiations regarding gaining reciprocal visa-free travel with the US. The EU-US Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs met together on 9 November 2018 in Washington DC. The five EU member states are the only countries within the EU that do not currently have US waivers. Those countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania.

A joint statement was issued by the EU and US stating in part, “The United States and the European Union agreed on the importance of advancing towards reciprocal visa-free travel under their respective legal frameworks.”

To be designated as part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), each country must meet several requirements including enhanced law enforcement and security-related sharing of data with the US.

Although there was no time frame provided for possibly granting them entry into the VWP, the five EU member states have demonstrated good compliance with overstay and other requirements to meet US guidelines. The EU and US are scheduled to meet again. This time in Bucharest, Romania, during the first half of 2019.

Being able to provide visa-less travel to the US would be a significant perk to citizens of these five EU member states. It would also attract more applicants for citizenship and would be a huge boost to any attempts for those countries to market citizenship through investment programs as visa-less access is considered extremely advantageous.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices worldwide and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in Europe and the Caribbean.

For further information on US Visa waiver programs or residence & citizenship by investment or to discuss your circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected].