US Review of Visa Free for European Countries

Impact for European tourists, they will be difficult to visit the land of Uncle Sam

Times Square, New York - Image Credit Emmanuella Widi

The visa-free program for European countries will be re-evaluated by the United States government, there is certainly a fundamental reason behind this, one of which is the consideration of internal security, especially concerned with terrorist infiltration.

As is known so far, Europeans may come to the US without having to apply for a visa to stay for 90 days.

John Kelly, director of the US Department of Homeland Security explained this on the CNN Money site on Thursday, April 20.

"We must review the visa-free program. Not reducing the number of recipient countries or doing something excessive. Our country is a Super Bowl for terrorists. From there they can come."

The United States has a visa-free visit facility to 38 countries since 1986, and most of these countries are the closest ally countries of the United States.

Citizens of these countries must still go through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) checking system before being allowed entry. Through the system, the US government can assess the background of someone who wants to visit, so that security threats can be suppressed.

After the 9/11 event visa-free visits were tightened, and there were citizens of a country with two nationalities or who had been to Iraq, Iran, Syria and Sudan would have difficulty entering the US.

Despite the already good system, there is always a gap that can be entered, the fact on the ground says that many of the European population who joined the ISIS terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

Quite justified the steps taken by the US government, for example the case is the attack in Paris in November 2015 which caused 129 people died, it is known that the perpetrators are members of ISIS who has a French and Belgian passport.

The incident made Barack Obama who still served as US President has requested that the visa-free visit program reviewed.

The impact will be felt on tourist visits in the United States, quoting the Travel and Leisure, the millions of tourists from Europe and other countries receiving visa-free programs giving US$ 84 billion in revenues to US revenues in 2014, will bring a lot of losses in the tourism industry.

New York is a top destination for tourists coming to the United States, said a spokeswoman for the New York City Tourism Board, Chris Heywood, British, French and German tourists is well-known for spending their money very splendidly.

Citing the site, British tourists accounted for US$ 1.6 billion, French tourists accounted for US$ 1.11 billion, and German tourists contributed US$ 1.11 billion, to New York City revenue in 2015.

Restrictions on visa-free visitation program does have a real impact for the country.

"I hate to say this sentence, but true, it would be very detrimental," Heywood said.

Source: Ardita Mustafa - CNN Indonesia, CNN Money, Travel and Leisure
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