Passport Requirements

Before you travel, check the current passport requirements and restrictions for the countries you intend to visit.

Pat Mullaly, SafeTravel

Recent world events have a major impact on travellers.

Important Changes to the Schengen Borders Agreement Will Impact U.S. Tourists and Business Travellers Alike

Summary: Recent terrorist attacks in Paris which killed 130 people have caused the European Commission to consider a major amendment to the Schengen Borders Agreement which allows for passport free movement across borders by citizens of the signatory countries.

Background: In 1985, the town of Schengen in Luxembourg was the site for the signing of the Schengen Borders Agreement. The purpose was to facilitate the movement of citizens of Europe to move freely across each other’s borders. Initially only seven countries signed the agreement but by 2007 all but six of the 28 EU member states had joined. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the UK are outside the Schengen zone.

From the BBC World News website:

In December the European Commission proposed a major amendment to Schengen, expected to become law soon.

Most non-EU travellers have their details checked against police databases at the EU’s external borders. The main change is that the rule will apply to EU citizens as well, who until now had been exempt.

Non-EU nationals who have a Schengen visa generally do not have ID checks once they are travelling inside the zone. But since the Paris atrocity those checks have become more common.

What does this mean for U.S. Travellers? It is more important than ever to know the current rules and requirements for each country you will be visiting. Check the Schengen Fact Sheet at the U.S. Passports & International Travel website for the most recent information.

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