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US citizens will need a visa to visit Europe starting in 2021 (cnn.com)
218 points by daegloe 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 256 comments

The article mixes two seaparate issues:

- EU is introducing ETIAS, an electronic authorisation system which is pretty much modeled after the US ESTA system (used by visa-free nationals). It will apply to all countries which currently enjoy the visa-free regime with the EU and that includes USA. So, technically it is not a visa, but your details will be pre-checked and it will cost €7 (compared to $14 for US ESTA). Ironically, after Brexit, this requirement will also apply to UK.

- There is a separate dispute between EU and US, because US imposes visas on five EU states (Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus). According the EU law, all EU countries should be treated equally or otherwise reciprocal measures should apply. There have been calls within the EU to respond tit for tat and impose EU visas on US citizens, if the issue does not get resolved soon.

As an EU citizen, I can just add that I support both initiatives.

Tit for tat is a great model in pre-school. The more mature response is to investigate the underlying issues.

Instead of putting your fingers in your ears and yelling “We are EU, you must treat us all the same” there could be some acknowledgement that travelers from those countries are disproportionately overstayers and there is a justifiable reason to need to more closely track them.

If US travelers are overstaying in any particular EU countries, I would expect and appreciate the same measures would be put in place.

Policy should be set based on the reality on the ground and not merely policital fantasy.

If those countries citizens are not in fact disproportionate over-stayers than the US should change their policy and apologize.

EDIT: This short brief [1] seems to imply there’s room for improvement on the US side. I don’t quite understand why the subjective visa refusal rate is so high for some of these countries when the overstay rate is so low. Unless you argue that the refusals are preventing the overstays, but that is very much unproven.

[1] - https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/files/2018-01/IB4812....

Just a few points:

- Tit-for-tat response is a geopolitical reality. Regardless whether you think it is pre-school model or not, this is what pretty much all countries do, as it is a perfectly rational way (and sometimes even the only way) to defend your interests. By rational I am talking about the Game Theory kind of rational. :)

- You suggest to look at each EU country individually (just also keep in mind that there are no border controls beetween the EU countries in the Schengen Zone). In such case, should we also look at each US state individually (because they are also not uniform, e.g. some are much poorer than the others)? EU as a whole has much greater weight and leverage. The point I am making here is that it is another geopolitical reality: countries use their weight and, for example, US uses its weight to exert its influence pretty much all over the world. Well, so does the EU in this case, whether the US likes it or not.

- Your point about the citizens of those countries being disproportionate overstayers is not true. As a matter of fact, the overstay rate of these countries is lower than some of those which are already in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), e.g. compare those fives countries with Spain, Greece, Hungary, etc. So, if there is some kind of threshold they cross, then it should apply to the current VWP countries to, shouldn't it? Please the see offical US Homeland Security report as a reference here:


> Tit-for-tat response is a geopolitical reality.

It's also an evolutionarily stable strategy:


I learned about it in regard to the prisoner's dilemma:


> Strategy for the iterated prisoner's dilemma


> The winning deterministic strategy was tit for tat, which Anatol Rapoport developed and entered into the tournament. It was the simplest of any program entered, containing only four lines of BASIC, and won the contest. The strategy is simply to cooperate on the first iteration of the game; after that, the player does what his or her opponent did on the previous move. Depending on the situation, a slightly better strategy can be "tit for tat with forgiveness". When the opponent defects, on the next move, the player sometimes cooperates anyway, with a small probability (around 1–5%). This allows for occasional recovery from getting trapped in a cycle of defections. The exact probability depends on the line-up of opponents.

> As a matter of fact, the overstay rate of these countries is lower than some of those which are already in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

With VWP there is hardly any filtering of potential overstays so the rates might be higher than those through the visa process.

Also in this specific case it is a very sensible strategy too. The whole reason why Poland, Cyprus etc are in EU is because they think they will get better treatment as part of that larger group. If EU is not going stick its neck out for these countries then these countries should not be in EU at all.

Also, it is perfectly fair because USA is dealing with entire EU here and hence can not treat Poland or Cyprus any differently than France or Germany because the stakes are exactly the same.

A more sensible policy should have been to publish the overstay rates every year and use that to determine VWP for the next fiscal year.

As a citizen of EU country: yes I want every country to be looked at individually. EU members, unlike U.S. states are sovereign entities and I don’t want anyone to mistake EU for a single country (as Americans often do).

> You suggest to look at each EU country individually (just also keep in mind that there are no border controls beetween the EU countries in the Schengen Zone). In such case, should we also look at each US state individually (because they are also not uniform

US states have no foreign relations. There's no Californian embassy in Sofia, but there is a Bulgarian embassy in Washington. No American travels on a Californian passport, but Bulgarians travel on Bulgarian passports.

If you want foreign countries to treat the EU as a single diplomatic unit, then all the EU member-state embassies should probably be closed and replaced with EU embassies, and all member-state passports should be replaced with generic EU passports.

Why? The EU and its member states are free to organize themselves any way they see fit, and states can decide on collective action, see NATO article 5.

The US is also free to organize its policies as it sees fit. If the EU really doesn't want the US to treat its member states as diplomatically separate entities, due to treaties the US was not party to, then it should stop holding them out as separate entities and present an unambiguously unified front.

As a practical matter, no country could subject citizens of different EU member states to different visa policies if they all had identical passports. That's exactly the situation with American passports.

> The US is also free to organize its policies as it sees fit.

Yep. And then you get disagreements and tit-for-tat. Just don't claim that the US's policies are in some way more legitimate.

> then it should stop holding

Says who? On whose authority? If the US wants its citizens to be treated uniformly, then it shouldn't give out per-state driver's licenses.

> Says who? On whose authority?

The authority or reasonableness and practicality.

> If the US wants its citizens to be treated uniformly, then it shouldn't give out per-state driver's licenses.

It may be news to you, but those aren't travel documents and are nonstandardized to boot. But if you think the EU should wade into that mess, I guess you're entitled to your opinion.

Also, it's probably worth noting treating Americans as citizens of their state and not the US for immigration purposes is totally unprecedented in the modern era of passports. On the other hand, the precedent over the same period has been to treat Europeans as citizens of their member states and not of an undifferentiated EU.

> EU member-state embassies should probably be closed and replaced with EU embassies

It's fairly close to how it works. If you live in Montenegro and need any EU visa, you go to Slovenian embassy. Even if you'll visit Spain or Ireland.

The United States of America is a entity comprised of several states, each one with it's own constitution and judicial court, while there is a central government with it's own constitution and juridical court.

So does the European Union.

You are splitting hairs. As the other commenter said there is no formal foreign relationships between a US state and other nations. I cannot travel on a California passport. No US state has a seat in the UN, but the individual members of the EU do. I am not saying the EU is not correct for this change, but your argument does not hold up at all.

VISA requirements only for those states that voted a particular way during, say, presidential elections would be comical.

Though not too different from imposing trade sanction on those products that hit some states much harder than others.

Really great animated illustration of tit-for-tat vs. other strategies: https://ncase.me/trust/

> Really great animated illustration of tit-for-tat vs. other strategies: https://ncase.me/trust/

Thanks for sharing! Probably the best explanation of classic game theory that I have seen.

> You suggest to look at each EU country individually (just also keep in mind that there are no border controls beetween the EU countries in the Schengen Zone). In such case, should we also look at each US state individually (because they are also not uniform, e.g. some are much poorer than the others)?

It's not the same. When you are born in California, your citizenship is "US". When you are born in Bulgaria, your citizenship is Bulgarian, not European. If that happens, of course it'll be more difficult to prevent people from a single country to move freely.

This is one of the biggest differences between United States and EU. USA is one country, Europe is not.

> US uses its weight to exert its influence pretty much all over the world. Well, so does the EU in this case, whether the US likes it or not.

I am European, however this comment makes me laugh. USA can literally crash EU in a couple of weeks, if they want to. It doesn't mean I need to live with fear, for God's sake, but just saying.

This answer from the EU is just a show off, utterly useless, and obviously being two months before the elections it tells me something - we want to protect our borders from the USA? Finally we won't have anymore terrorists coming from USA. Thanks EU, I feel safer now. :)

> I am European, however this comment makes me laugh. USA can literally crash EU in a couple of weeks, if they want to. It doesn't mean I need to live with fear, for God's sake, but just saying.

That's maybe what the US believes (or some of the "America is special" hardliners) and if you believe it too I would say their propaganda did a good job. They can neither militarily nor economically do this, even if they wish they could.

> That's maybe what the US believes (or some of the "America is special" hardliners) and if you believe it too I would say their propaganda did a good job. They can neither militarily nor economically do this, even if they wish they could.

Says who?

You don't need to crash a country just by throwing bombs at them. Just look at how dysfunctional the EU is.

> It's not the same. When you are born in California, your citizenship is "US". When you are born in Bulgaria, your citizenship is Bulgarian, not European. If that happens, of course it'll be more difficult to prevent people from a single country to move freely.

Not exactly. As already explained in some posts below, the EU has a legal concept of "EU citizenship". So, from the legal point of view, Bulgarians in your example are both the Bulgarian citizens and EU citizens.


> This is one of the biggest differences between United States and EU. USA is one country, Europe is not.

Sure, but how relevant is that? At least in this case, I think the difference is more of a technicality.

By the way, EU is already more than a confederation, since it actually has many properties of federation (for example, if you will compare the political systems of EU and Switzerland, you will actually find quite a few key similarities). Although European politicians do everything they can to avoid these words. So, while EU is certainly not a country, it made quite a lot of steps towards becoming one. It's just a fact, regardless whether you are pro-federation or anti-federation.

> I am European, however this comment makes me laugh. USA can literally crash EU in a couple of weeks, if they want to.

.. inflicting huge damage to itself with very major repercussions to the US national security. This world is really not as simple as that. Is US much more powerful than the EU? Yeah, sure. Although even in terms of raw power it's not as dramatic (economy: EU is already of very similar weight as US in terms of GDP; military: combined EU forces would be very comfortably the second largest military in the world, both in terms of quality and quantity). Anyway, this is rather theorethic. There are many more complex aspects which matter in reality with a very subtle palance of powers, so "they can crash us" doesn't mean much.

> This answer from the EU is just a show off, utterly useless, and obviously being two months before the elections it tells me something - we want to protect our borders from the USA? Finally we won't have anymore terrorists coming from USA. Thanks EU, I feel safer now. :)

This was actually planned and made public years ago, at least as far as 2016, so nothing to do with the elections. As pointed out by others, it is not targeted explictly at the US. It's something what's going to be applicable for many other countries.

Rent a car. EU countries dont even treat each other equally.

Stones in glass houses ?

Territorial restrictions The vehicle selection can restrict travel to certain countries. For a description of these restrictions on admission, the countries are divided into three zones.

Zone 1: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Vatican

Zone 2: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia

Zone 3: All countries which are not in zone 1 or 2.

Jaguar, Maserati, Land Rover and Porsche cars as well as all luxury cars may enter only in Zone 1 countries. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen cars up to group L are allowed to enter only in Zone 1 countries as well as Poland and the Czech Republic, while X* cars are only allowed to enter in Zone 1 countries. Vehicles of all other brands may enter only in the zones 1 and 2.

Trucks, vans, people carriers and minibuses of all brands may only be driven in zones 1 and 2.

Entry into any country in zone 3 is not permitted.

In case of offence against cross border and territorial restrictions all insurances lose their validity.

Sounds like this is a rental car/insurance issue, i.e. private corporation, not a free movement issue. Whether it's just or not is a different question, which would derail the thread.

Point being it is obvious there are different regions having issues in the EU.

The car rental places dont want you to take their nice cars to countries that have a higher rate of car theft.

Pretending all of the EU is equal is silly.

It's not unlike renting a car in San Diego and not being allowed to take it into Mexico. The risk of theft is higher than the wish to deal with and the reality of successful prosecution/recovery is incredibly low. Rent a car in Germany and you are specifically told what countries you can't visit without higher rates or lower class of car.

I’ve rented a car in Montreal on several occasions in early 2000s and my contract explicitly forbid me to enter the Bronx and Queens boroughs of New York City.

Yet it is all of the EU we are discussing. Either each country is treated differently or it isnt.

No flip flopping

If people from Hawaii were overstaying in Japan, the US wouldn't be fine with Japan requiring visas for residents of Hawaii.

Part of the purpose of the EU is to present a united front when dealing with other countries. Collective bargaining doesn't work if you don't act collectively.

>If US travelers are overstaying in any particular EU countries.

The only way to do this would be to require Visas to the whole EU because of the lack of internal border controls (for most of the EU).

In that case there should be no such thing as a Croatian passport or a Polish passport. Or Croatian citizenship (etc.). Feels like there’s a fair bit of eating cake and having it too going on here.

Replace “passport” by “driving license” and things are almost equivalent: a piece of paper that pins you down a particular plot of land.

You’re not getting the point. The USA is a single country. All of its citizens are to be treated equally. And all of its foreign affairs are handled by the one federal government. The EU is a very complicated collection of many individual countries that all have their own citizens, and all represent themselves individually in foreign affairs except where it’s convenient to represent themselves as a group. Free movement in the EU doesn’t even extend to all member countries.

There is no reasonable way Japan could refuse entry to a US citizens who are suspected of residing in a state without effectively denying all US citizens because there is only one type of US citizen. (Which they are free to do, but obviously won’t.)

On the other hand residents of the EU have it in the reverse. There are 28 (?) different types of citizens, each with different passports, each from countries with different immigration departments, different foreign affairs ministers, etc.

It’s asking a lot for other countries to just blanket accept all of these types of citizens from very different countries, and more to just accept them from any new country that may be added. Turkey is a dictatorship and came damn close to being in the EU. It’s entirely feasible some member country like Hungry (to pick on one) begins to behave badly or becomes a dictatorship or starts persecuting people and the expectation is still we must accept their passports the same as a French one? Absurd. Of course not. The EU is a long way from being a single country.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the EU, the European Union, in your post.

> The EU is a very complicated collection of many individual countries that all have their own citizens


As a German, I'm a citizen of Germany and a citizen of the EU.

> Free movement in the EU doesn’t even extend to all member countries

Sure it does. It does even extend to a few countries outside the EU.

> different types of citizens

They are all EU citizens. All of them have the right of free movement within the EU. Many of them are also in the Schengen area (which has 400 Million people), which got rid of internal border controls and which has a common Visa policy.


> Turkey is a dictatorship and came damn close to being in the EU.

It never came close to being in the EU. There have been talks since 2005 with not much progress. Turkey would need to fully comply with EU laws and regulations. That's a process which could need another decade. Then the EU countries would need to vote in favor. Every single one of them. That's not clear how that would be achievable. If Turkey would be a dictatorship, then there would be zero chance of Turkey becoming a member of the EU.

> Hungry


> You’re not getting the point.

Mind that there is also this point: The individual EU-Schengen country doesn't give out visa for their own country. U.S. citizens can only get a Schengen Visa. Thus if the U.S. says "EU Member X requires Visa" country X can't enforce Visa itself the only way X can enforce Visa is by the EU enforcing Visa.

Also the EU is a solidarity agreement - EU member states pledged to stand in for each other at such situations. If EU doesn't uphold it's not fulfilling the promise it gave those countries, when they gave up some souvereignity.

"The USA is a single country. All of its citizens are to be treated equally"

Yes because the US has decided they should be, the EU has decided they want their citizens treating the same also.

I understand your point that you can't differentiate Americans by passport, unlike Europeans, but that's a subtly different argument.

"Turkey is a dictatorship and came damn close to being in the EU" If by damn close you mean informal talks. Theres a list of things nations need to sign up to, be become EU members. Not being a dictatorship is probably in there somewhere.

Just having a passport for a particular country is not the single deciding factor to determine entry. There are already other requirements in many countries that have nothing to do with citizenship. (Think Yellow fever vaccincation in some Asian countries.)

There is absolutely nothing that would prevent Japan or the EU to impose additional differentiating factors to US citizens is deciding entry to their country.

“For safety reason, we require all visitors to have a valid driving license. We only recognize licenses from those states that have less than x driving related deaths per 100,000.”

Absurd from a policy point of view? Of course. Impossible from a legal point of view? Absolutely not.


Oh great. Tons of 2nd generation Canadians and Americans are Polish and Croat citizens by lineage. It’ll probably be illegal for them to apply for an ETIAS, and it’ll take a year to get a PL or HR passport.

Huh? I think you’re confused. A US citizen who happens to be of Croatian or Polish decent is still just a US citizen.

If the EU does build a database of US citizens’ lineage and then starts denying US citizens of Croatian descent entry not only would that be hugely ironic it would also cause a pretty emphatic response from the US.

There is only one US country and only one US citizen.

The argument people are making comparing EU countries to US states is absurd.

They might as well be saying “Well what if the EU decided not to allow visa free entry to New Zealand citizens from the city of Auckland. Huzzah! Therefore US should treat all EU countries the same!”

See how absurd that is? Because a US state has just as much control over immigration and foreign policy or national defense etc etc as does a New Zealand city, which is to say none.

> Huh? I think you’re confused. A US citizen who happens to be of Croatian or Polish decent is still just a US citizen.

Many European countries automatically make people their citizens by lineage, not place of birth. Sometimes with little restriction by the paternal line.

Being born in the US to Croatian parents will make you a citizen of both countries, no application required.

Croatia may not know about it, but you'll still be doing something illegal if such a person applies for an ETIAS and answers "No" to the question about being an EU citizen (which will make you ineligible for an ETIAS).

It would be even messier for them if they were born in Croatia and then immigrated to the US as a child.

That's how the US and Canadian implementations work.

Wow. That sounds like a pretty crazy hole in the ETIAS plan, and your comment belongs more appropriately as a child of the original's in regard to the following:

> - There is a separate dispute between EU and US, because US imposes visas on five EU states (Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus). According the EU law, all EU countries should be treated equally or otherwise reciprocal measures should apply. There have been calls within the EU to respond tit for tat and impose EU visas on US citizens, if the issue does not get resolved soon.

So in the dispute above that is being hotly debated, Croatians (for example) want the EU to enforce visa free entry to the US as reciprocation for the visa free entry to the EU. But according to what you say, now US citizens who happen to be of Croatian descent don't have visa free entry to the EU and must get a Croatian passport.

That's how I'm assuming how ETIAS will be implemented: you're usually not eligible for visa-free travel if you're already a citizen. In the past, border police never really cared if you tried to enter EU on your Canadian passport, even if it says you were born in Italy with an obviously Italian name.

But if it's the machine that's deciding these things based on the letter of the law, you might have a problem.

Maybe ETIAS will have a bigger carve-out for these situations than the US and Canada (which exempt eachothers' citizens). Or maybe they won't.

> In the past, border police never really cared if you tried to enter EU on your Canadian passport, even if it says you were born in Italy with an obviously Italian name.

Wouldn't that be an unreliable test, since you could've renounced your citizenship or have been born to Canadian parents visiting Italy, since Italy is jus sanguinis [1]?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_nationality_law

Correct, but the point was the border police never bothered to inquire. Even the US let’s you renounce your jus soli citizenship.

Now you may have to state Yes/No to a question about other citizenships, when the best answer for a lot of Americans (a nation of immigrants) will be “Don’t know for sure, maybe”.

> Many European countries automatically make people their citizens by lineage, not place of birth.



The general concept is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_sanguinis

Croatia: http://eudo-citizenship.eu/NationalDB/docs/CRO%20Law%20on%20...

Section 4: "A child acquires Croatian citizenship by origin: [various criteria about who your parents are]" There's no "may" or "can".

Germany: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_nationality_law#Descent...

"A person born of a parent with German citizenship at the time of the child's birth is a German citizen. Place of birth is not a factor in citizenship determination based on parentage."

Italy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_nationality_law#Attrib...

"Italian citizenship is granted by birth through the paternal line, with no limit on the number of generations, or through the maternal line for individuals born after 1 January 1948."

France: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_nationality_law#French_...

"French citizenship by birth abroad to at least one French citizen The child (legitimate or natural) is French if at least one parent is French."

Some countries (like France) require the birth to be registered, while others do not.

There are literally tens of millions of Americans that are Italian citizens, from their grandfather or great-grandfather, without knowing it.

There are also cases where a US-born may be eligible for other citizenship but must apply. (Ireland, for example, if either parent was Irish.)

Hawaii isn’t a sovereign nation with its own foreign service.

It’s an analogy as Hawaii is one of the 50 United States. The EU Schengen zone is similar to the US as there is free travel between countries within the zone.

And even beyond that the EU states all (by EU regulation) willingly stand in for each other when it comes to their citizens in foreign countries.

If you're from a big country like France or Germany, you don't notice, but if you're from a smaller country like Portugal this means when you realise your country does not even have consular facilities in the random place you're visiting, you don't worry, the French or Germans do and you're an EU citizen, so they'll sub for your own consular officials as needed.

The difference is that U.S. passports don't distinguish which state you are a citizen of. Hawaii does not have its own representative in the United Nations. Hawaii does not have its own ambassadors and consulates. EU passports do distinguish which country you are a citizen of. Each EU country has its own representative in the U.N. and its own ambassadors and consulates [1].

Free travel is not the feature that is legally indicative of a nation.

[1] Yes, I know that EU consulates can be shared by other EU citizens. Nonetheless, legally there is no such thing as "an EU consulate" or "an ambassador from the EU" or a generic EU passport. It really is a radically different model from the EU. (The most notable difference is that countries can unilaterally withdraw from the EU without triggering a civil war within the EU. States can't.)

I know but it doesn’t work.

Every single EU member state is a sovereign nation with its own foreign policy, military, standing to sign treaties, seat in the UN General Assembly, international recognition beyond the UN, and a couple of them even have permanent seats in the Security Council. And most, but not all are parties to the Schengan Area, and most, but not all, are members of NATO. The ones that are not landlocked even get to set their own maritime boundaries, whereas past a certain point in the US, the maritime boundaries here are Federal territory. EU member states still maintain formal diplomatic relations among themselves and with other nations, and issue passports and visas. They might have standardized their passports, sure, but they are still issued by the member states.

Hawaii has none of that, it is a US State. Once you’re a US State, you don’t stop being one, ever, and we fought a civil war over this. That clearly isn’t the case with the EU, as demonstrated by Brexit.

In short, the analogy doesn’t work because it isn’t analogous. The EU wants to be treated like the US in some cases and like separate nations in other cases. The US is just the US as far as other nations have to be concerned, and there isn’t a Hawaiian or Californian or Texan passport that other nations can granularly accept or reject, just American ones.

If you want something more analogous to the Japanese hypothetically rejecting Hawaiians, it would be like the US allowing Visa-free entry from all of Germany except people from Brandenburg, or all of Australia except people from Victoria, or all of Japan except people from Okinawa. As far as the 4 EU States without Visa-free access to the US are concerned, they have normal diplomatic channels available to them.

EDIT: Edited for grammar and clarity. Sorry about that, quite a few interruptions in the last few minutes.

What you are missing is that you seem to think that because the US is organised in a particular fashion, that is the only valid organisational structure. The EU is organised differently, and it and its member countries are perfectly within their rights to organise themselves in this fashion.

If you find that difficult, just rephrase "the EU has" into "the EU member states have". So: the EU member states have decided on collective visa measures.

Collective response is something states do. See NATO Article 5.

What you seem to be missing is that the EU is an organization that legally owes its existence to a series of treaties between 28 sovereign nations and the United States is one, single, sovereign nation under International law. This system of nations is really a post-Napoleon phenomenon and wasn’t solidified until after World War 2. If it had gone a different direction, maybe every American, German, Brazilian and Australian State and every Swiss canton and every Russian oblast would be organized in a manner much like the EU and issue their own passports.

It isn’t a mere organizing principle, there is a legal distinction that is easily drawn with differing legal trappings.

The EU deciding on collective Visa measures is fine, I actually have not taken any issue with that in this entire thread, the only thing I took issue with was a bad analogy which left alone, only confuses and misleads otherwise constructive discussion.

Long and the short of it is: Hawaii and Croatia aren’t analogous to each other vis a vis visa agreements, and that’s because they come from differing International legal positions, a position in which Hawaii is actually irrelevant from beginning to end and Croatia isn’t but has the legal standing and recognition to temporarily be irrelevant in its own visa policies if it chooses to. The nuances are not unimportant.

You are still missing the point that these are fairly arbitrary distinctions. The states of the US are actually quite independent, with much of the authority of the federal government being taken from the 'commerce clause', which is ... er ... "interesting" (and actually not that dissimilar to the EU deriving from the single market and customs union).

Case in point: I have an EU driver's license. It is valid in the EU. When in the US, driver's licenses are per-state, though I am allowed to drive in a different state for a while, I have to get the current state's license when I move my residence. California has border checks for agricultural goods. etc. etc.

These distinctions are only as arbitrary as the law, which can be very arbitrary but ultimately we have agreed to accept the Rule of Law, both my country and most likely yours.

Nations have agreed to fairly consistent diplomatic protocols and channels with which to treat each other. Hawaii can’t issue visas, but Japan can require Americans to apply for a visa. That isn’t just a stretch of the Commerce Clause, it is part of how and why the US Constitution was written the way it was: so individual States weren’t forming international interests contrary to the national interest.

Thank you!! Why does this seem so difficult for some to understand?

Tit for tat is, as far as I know, very common in diplomatic relationships between countries.

The EU wants it's citenzens treated the same, the way you phrased it already accepts that it's the case for the US. The equivalent would be more:

"If travelers from any state of the US are overstaying in the EU, I would expect travelers from that US State to need a visa."

Would you still appreciate that? (This is a genuine question not hyperbole.)

Tit for Tat is how all relationships between sovereign entities work in practice. Too bad.

And it is more like the super-rational tit for two tats strategy anyway. The US is _appallingly_ bad at meeting its international obligations, it routinely signs treaties with other countries only to subsequently decide it doesn't fancy sticking to its side of the bargain but of course it demands they fulfil their end...

All countries (including the US) agreed to the Vienna Convention, which says to let the other country know if its citizen gets arrested or hospitalised and requests consular assistance by their people.

The US completely ignored this, routinely holding foreigners without an interpreter on the rationale that hey, they aren't _citizens_ so they don't have rights... And hey, how we were supposed to know that he was saying he wants consular assistance, he said he wanted to talk to his family, and we said "No" but we never refused consular assistance...

The US Supreme Court decided that if US police do this it's just fine. No civil rights violation. Sure, the foreigner had "rights", but if police prevent them exercising those rights? Eh, whatever, they are American police, and Americans come first... "My country, right or wrong, my country" yeah?

So lots of countries that the US is supposedly friends with signed an additional treaty with the US which basically says OK, fine, even if our citizen doesn't make it clear that they need consular assistance, tell us immediately anyway.

Are you guessing that the US complied and now it's fine? Of course not. Now the US routinely says that it tried to contact consular services but alas other operational priorities meant it took a few days to get around to it...

[ Back when it was her job, Hilary Clinton struggled to get ordinary Americans who ultimately are responsible for implementing these rules to understand Tit for Tat. You beat up the "weird foreign guy acting strange" and lock him in a jail cell for a week "to teach him a lesson". Now how are the US consular team supposed to persuade a Parisian genndarme to let some American idiot get on a plane home instead of leaving him to rot for starting a drunken fight in a restaurant? ]

Your country treats other countries badly. Under the circumstances I think they've been exceedingly nice about it and I think it's more than time the EU threw the book at the US.

Tit for tat is a fantastic model, much like GRIM[1] because it has the advantage of being simple, clear and easily checkable. The EU as an organisation is meant to fight, as one, for its member states’ interests. Easily verified policy makes coordination far, far easier, as does legal and organisational equality. The U.K. expected the EU to throw Ireland under the bus when it came to Brexit and they didn’t because it’s a partnership of nominal equals. For the same reason the EU is extremely strongly motivated to advocate for all its citizens to be treated equally by the US.

[1]Never forgive, never forget

> If US travelers are overstaying in any particular EU countries, I would expect and appreciate the same measures would be put in place.

You mean US citizens from particular states? Because that's what the equivalent would be.

EU member states are sovereign countries, or at least that’s the pretense. It’s not equivalent.

US states are also sovereign entities, or at least that's the pretense.

States have never had separate sovereignty in international affairs.

> States have never had separate sovereignty in international affairs.

And yet their separate sovereignty, allegedly restricted to “domestic” affairs, is why the US, through it's court system, allows US states to ignore US international commitments (notably, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations) in their execution of their criminal law.

No, that is not why. It's because the US has two policies, domestic and international, and the application of treaties on domestic law is up to the federal government to execute. If the Congress chooses not to do so, there isn't a domestic law broken and so the states aren't bound.

So actually, if they had separate sovereignty, the states would have to sign the treaties themselves and would potentially be more bound to them, not less.

No, the United States formally withdrew from the Optional Protocol to the Convention concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes 14 years ago. The cases alluded to in the parent comment (Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, Medellin v. Texas) came after the US withdrawal from the Optional Protocol.

Not really. States are not countries.

Why does that matter? There are huge differences culturally and socioeconomically between different states (and even areas). States have very different laws with a "federal government" managing it all. I don't see how it's very different from EU member states and the EU in Brussel managing it all.

There are a few ways it's very different. First is that the US has a national standard process for obtaining a passport that applies regardless of what state you're in. That is not the case for the EU. Second, not all EU member countries are parties to all the same treaties, again, unlike the US. Third, each EU country has its own domestic and international policy, restricted that may be as regards to international agreements on production. Fourth, as it is possible for a member state to enter or leave the EU, unlike the US, having a treaty with the EU as a whole makes the United States bound to potential new members that it did not have the opportunity to individually evaluate.

"potential new members that it did not have the opportunity to individually evaluate"

Theres nothing stopping the US adding a state.

Sure, but if that occurs the state is now no longer an individual and can never leave. States in the US are not individually parties to any agreements with other countries, so the treaty would have no additional members.

The same thing applies if belgium decides to conquer a few more miles of land. You can leave the EU, no state leaves the USA.

If a state wanted to leave the US it could. The US doesn't have an article 50, but if Texas declared independence, the rest of the US could choose to respect that. Of course the US could decide to send in the troops, but the EU could send the troops to the UK. There might be technical legal differences between the two examples, but at this level its more might is right and the winner writes the rules. Example The Ukraine.

Whether a leaving EU party would remain part of a treaty would depend on whether it was individually named. The UK for example is having to negotiate all trade deals anew as current ones are EU only.

No, a state can't leave legally. There was a theoretical framework that would allow it in the Constitution, but that was decided 150 years ago. The EU has an explicit legal avenue for leaving.

Also, no; the EU cannot send troops to the UK. Individual member states could do so, but not the EU. That may change in the future but at the moment it is how it is.

I don't understand the Ukraine reference; in context it seems like you are saying they tried to leave the EU and the EU sent in troops, but that didn't happen. Could you elaborate?

The Ukraine reference was referring to Russia annexing part of it, and the rest of the world doing nothing.

As I said there might be technical legal differences, but practically speaking at this level they can be ignored. If Texas wants independence, it isn't going to be put off by US laws. The US will loudly point to those laws yes, but whether it does anything will be independent of those laws.

> Tit for tat is a great model in pre-school.

Both practical experience and game theory show it's a reasonably good approach in quite a lot of situations beyond preschool, and a lot more effective than the kind of abject surrender you propose in promoting desired behavioral changes in other parties.

Due to the nature of the Schengen area and the greater independence of an EU member state compared to a US state, there's no real way to track whether a US citizen overstays more in some parts of the Schengen area than others. And I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that at least some of the EU member states in question are on track to join Schengen before the time ETIAS launches in 2021.

> there's no real way to track whether a US citizen overstays more in some parts of the Schengen area than others.

Doesn't matter, it's 90 days applied to the entire Schengen area, regardless of which member state(s) you visited.

Yes, but the person I was responding to found it relevant whether Americans are more likely to overstay in particular EU countries such as the ones on which the US imposes visa requirements. The only possible tracking (for short-term entries) is at the Schengen level, as you say; the US does not require visas from most Schengen nationals. But the US does require ESTA+VWP from them if they don't seek a visa, and this is basically analogous to ETIAS.

But (for now), there isn’t always a passport-control between Schengen and non-Schengen zones.

E.g. your time in Monaco, Andorra or Ireland.

Dunno if your time in Ireland is kept track of or not if you fly to/from it.

Self-replying to note that one of the EU member states on which the US imposes visa requirements, Poland, is already in Schengen. (Edit window has passed.)

>>there could be some acknowledgement that travelers from those countries are disproportionately overstayers and there is a justifiable reason to need to more closely track them.

That used to be the case for Poland. After the fall of communism it was extremely popular to travel to the US on a tourist visa and stay - the much higher pay and standard of living were generally worth the risk. But nowadays? In 2019? Why the fuck would anyone from Poland do that is beyond me. The pay is hardly any better if at all, plus you risk getting absolutely fucked over if you have to go to a hospital, not to mention that you could be deported at any time. It just makes no sense considering you can hop on a cheap ryanair flight to anywhere else in Europe and get paid much better, have access to guaranteed healthcare, paid holiday/sick leave and all the other rights that we enjoy as EU citizens. US seems to be living in this bubble from 20 years ago where Polish citizens used to overstay their tourist visas massively - but times have changed, and the visa requirements haven't.

> Policy should be set based on the reality on the ground and not merely policital fantasy.

I fail to understand what you mean here; aren't these two things the same? The way I see it, politics is exactly the practice of coming up with fantasies that larger groups are willing to accept as reality.

Tit for tat is an effective strategy for Prisoner's dilemma :


>If US travelers are overstaying in any particular EU countries, I would expect and appreciate the same measures would be put in place.

Maybe a better analogy would be if the EU said people from New York State disproportionately overstay and will need a visa.

You are making the mistake of thinking US immigration/visa laws have anything to do with sensible policy. In fact in USA any system that is 100% under government control tends to be more communist and Quixotic than Soviets. There is more of racist Congress at play rather than anything related to overstays.

Now consider overstay numbers (total overstay vs % of total travelers from that country): Canada - 120K (.11%) Mexico - 47K (1.73%)

UK - 25K (0.39%) India - 17K (1.32%) Italy - 16K (0.83%)

Bulgaria - 300 (1.3%) Cyprus - 61 (0.69%) Poland - 2400 (1.3%) Romania - 1300 (1.4%)

Entire Europe - 126K Entire Asia - 56K

None of those numbers are significantly different, in fact when people know that they can reenter easily the high chances are they leave more easily. It is a bit like those H1B try to hang to their jobs but those on green card travel all around the world and quit all the time too.

are you ok with EU imposing visas for some US states and not for others?

How would they do that given US states do not have citizens or passports?

Use state of birth, if it's encoded on the passports, and if not, require a visa from everyone until state of birth is encoded on the passports.

As a point of order, US states do have citizens. As a US citizen, I'm also a citizen of the state in which I reside.

You're a resident of the state in which you reside. I have never heard anyone say, for example, "I am a citizen of the state of Massachusetts".

That you can move to another state and claim residency there implies what residency is, transient, whereas citizenship is permanent.

The fourteenth amendment states "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

So someone born in Morocco who moved to France and became a French citizen should be denied visa free entry to the US because their citizenship by your standard is actually Moroccan.

It's what US already does for immigrant visas (referred to as "country of chargeability"), so there is precedent.

If that birth was before 1994, that person has French citizenship anyway, if a parent was born before Moroccan Independence.

You are a resident, not citizen of your state. Citizenship as defined means being a member of a country. Passport and visa regimes are based on that.

Passport and Visa regimes are often based on citizenship or place of birth in addition to passport origin.

Also, the fourteenth amendment says "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

I stand corrected on the internal us terminology. But the dictionary definition of citizenship refers to country. Do you have one example of a visa regime which differentiates between different locations within a country?

Here's are a couple articles about China's special visa practices for people from the Jammu and Kashmir region of India in 2009. [1] [2] I wasn't aware of this contemporaneously, so I don't know quite what it was about, but it sounds like if you were from Jammu and Kashmir, your visa would be issued as a paper visa, and if you were from the rest of India, it would be issued as a stamp. A quick look at sample US passports indicates place of birth including state, so it would be feasible to implement.

My dictionary [3] has many definitions for citizen, none of which are very specific about being ascribed to a country, although the example does use a country:

> 1 : an inhabitant of a city or town especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman

> 2a : a member of a state

> b : a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it

> // She was an American citizen but lived most of her life abroad.

> 3 : a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state

> // Soldiers were sent to protect the citizens.

[1] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/visa-and-immigratio...

[2] http://blogs.reuters.com/india/2009/10/02/why-is-china-issui...

[3] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citizen

I was pretty sure China would be the example that would show up. Not a great example to emulate.

The term state in that context means country, which is why citizen is a synonym for national. in the Oxford English Dictionary, that is the first definition, and secondarily (and more historically than anything) it refers to citizens of a town. It might be in use locally, but I have never heard anyone use the term citizen in that way other than poetically, and I have spent time in a number of English speaking regions.

I'm more than OK with that. Especially given that I have a pretty good idea what state Europeans are more likely to have a critical opinion of.

As an EU citizen who wants for “EU countries should be treated equally”, you might want to start at home — Schengen doesn’t include (some of) the countries you listed and citizens of (some of) those countries don’t have the same work rights across the EU itself already.

It feels like major hypocrisy to ask the US to treat nationals from those countries equally when the EU itself does not.

Poland is in the Schengen Area. Cyprus is divided since Turkish invasion, so it is somewhat a special case. Other countries joined the EU relatively recently. However, all four countries are legally obliged to join the Schengen Area, they just have to fulfil certain requirements. Without going into all details.. don't you think it kind of makes sense? If you want to join an area without border controls, then for example you should first harmonise the rules on how you secure the external border, immigration control, customs control, etc. It is not as simple as you think.

I do not think it is hyprocritial to require new EU member states to go through certain transition period. A bunch of other European countries went through that process too. At different speeds, but they made it. We are talking about contries; it's not the same as joining your local tennis club, it's a longer and more complex process. If there is anything to blame, then perhaps its your own government which is lagging behind on the necessary reforms. And meanwhile, EU is trying to make it easier for you to travel to the US. So, what are you complaining about?

But doesn't it seem hypocritical to push for equal treatment externally when those requirements have not been met? EU processes like this one can take decades to iron out.

It might be a valid point to some extent, but there is an imporant aspect here: we are talking about _different_ requirements.

Even though those four EU countries are not in the Schengen Area, their citizens can freely travel (without visa or any authorisation) anywhere in the EU. They just go through the border control. In other words, the requirements concerning the free travel are already met. Now, in the context of EU-US travel, do other (internal EU) requirements matter? I would argue that they don't.

It's not an irrelevant treaty. It is specifically the part of the EU agreement which regulates visas and travel in respect to non-EU countries (yes, I understand others have been allowed into it by reciprocal agreement, nonetheless it an EU directive). If a country can't yet be part of it or refuses to be part of it, why should they be treated as if they were? Free travel within the EU is the part that appears to be internal and not relevant in this case.

I don't follow you. Which treaty are you referring to? Are you talking about the EU directive regarding the visa policy? If so, how is this relevant to the negotiations/decision-making concerning the EU-US agreements?

EU directives are domestic legal acts. I guess you can think of them as US federal laws. Let me put it this way: let's say, just hypothetically, US would have some federal law regulating the movement (perhaps imposing some barriers) between the US states. Why and how exactly would this be relevant to the US-EU visa/travel agreements? What matters is that 27 countries agree to negotiate together, so the European Commission negotiates with the US on behalf of the EU, including those five countries. For the purpose of the agreement, it does not matter what legal instrument (EU directive, 27 bilateral treaties, whatever) is used to implement that agreement.

What I was trying to say is: The schengen agreement or treaty, which is now a part of eu law, deals with visa policy for the eu. There is no reason for foreign actors to treat eu countries like they are in the schengen when they are not, since it is specifically designed to deal with eu-extra eu relations.

If the eu wants to deal with internal eu travel and residence outside of the schengen agreement that is one thing, but it's not a consistent policy to try to create a second set of international relations by selectively bypassing the schengen agreement. A second set of agreements would be both coherent and acceptable if the eu accepted that the schengen agreement was superfluous and not to be taken into account for countries that opted to enter into a reciprocal relationship with them based on this new agreement. Otherwise it is just picking and choosing without sufficient respect to the other parties involved. This would probably be for the best long term, since the schengen leaves eu international policy too tied to a few non-eu members who have schengen agreements in place.

In brief, it is the eu's problem that they have an imperfect union and have not managed to integrate all their members into all their reciprocal agreements. It is an understandable problem, but not one they can credibly complain to others about.

Edit: I think where we are missing each other is I don't view the schengen agreement as just internal policies, but the framework for the eu's interaction with the world. From what I have read in the eu's own words and elsewhere, that is its intention.

It would be hypocritical to push for certain issues related to internal EU borders when they haven't met those requirements yet.

It's not hypocritical to ask that passports from that country be treated the same as passports from any other EU country.

An argument could be made for the US to put tighter restrictions on planes coming from those countries. But every EU citizen on the same plane should get the same treatment.

It's a border security issue that should only apply to locations.

Your counfounding European Union and Shengen area. Countries can be part of the Shengen Area without being in the European union (like Switzerland, Norway). Furthermore, Croatia, Cyprus and Bulgaria are in the process of joining the Shengen area.

The visa issue is between the European Union and the United State, not the Shengen Area and the United States.

It is like if European Union would require a Visa for inhabitants of Texas, Florida and Washington, even if a visa-free deal with the United States was agreed.

Afaik Poland is in Schengen and Polish citizens can travel/work freely in EU.

Schengen or not anyone can travel freely and work anywhere in EU as long as they are EU citizens. I have a Cypriot passport and I can walk into any EU country as if its Cyprus and get a job.

What are you even going on about? The Schengen is a separate system from the EU, which abolishes border control (passport control). That also necessitates common Visa Policy. The freedom of movement in the EU is the principal right to move between countries.

The EU countries not part of Schengen Area still enjoy the same rights to freedom of movement, but there might be passport control. And this doesn't really matter anyway, since those countries are on the way to join Schengen Area within the next few years..

Schengen isn’t EU. Part of it are 4 countries that are not in the EU and the 4 EU members that are not in Schengen are obliged to join it.

Also any specific worker rights we don’t enjoy in the EU? I’m a Romanian so am interested in details.

Despite the fact that the United States is not a Schengen participant, so that doesn't equate into their rationale for the visa process with those countries, the work that you say the EU should do (otherwise it's hypocrisy) is nigh complete[0,1,2].

The issue is that the United States has agreements with the EU and, much like when Trump tried to negotiate a trade deal with Germany[3], those deals supercede any deals that may have existed with member states in the past.

This scenario, when reversed, would be akin to the EU having a deal with the United States but excluding Texas and requiring all Texans to officially apply for and receiving a visa before travel. Even though they're Americans and the deal with America should supercede, they would be - willfully - ignoring it.

[0] - https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/croatia-ready-meet-sch...

[1] - https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/romania-bulgaria-quali...

[2] - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-croatia-eu-schengen/croat...

[3] - https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-trade-merkel-germany-e...

Regardless of whether Schengen applies free movement absolutely does.

If you try to look for a cause the countries in question seem to be in the EU block that is the source of much within-EU immigration tension. Immigrating to the US legally is hard, and for someone with few opportunities in their home countries the incentives are higher to find a way to work immigrate to the US. Legal or otherwise. Incentives are different in each direction because working illegally in the rich EU countries is almost impossible, while it is normal in the US.

If there is an underlying issue of overstaying when people come from some EU countries where there is an economic incentive to go to the US, then one can understand that the US will respond by imposing visa requirements to ameliorate that.

Therefore if overstaying is not a concern when going from the US to the EU then imposing the same requirement in reverse is more of an emotional concern, which might be the right choice if ones goal is to have the EU act as a whole emotionally.

Right now, US has a policy that allows no more than 7% of permanent residents from any country. Right now, every member state of EU can have no more than 7%. However, If they can present EU as an unified federation (just like USA), US should impose 7% rule on the EU as a whole.

Exactly that.

From https://www.eulisa.europa.eu/Activities/Large-Scale-It-Syste...

" ETIAS is a pre-travel authorisation system for visa exempt travellers."

Video explaining the system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=orrBJiXAcSU

Exactly. An American can still drive to Europe without an ETIAS, so it’s not a visa.

Makes sense, don’t it?

  An American can still drive to Europe
The logistics are a bit tricky, however.

Border control should be based on facts not petty politics.

What problems does the US have with travelers from Croatia or Cyprus? Explain it and maybe they can fix it and we can move on.

I think you answered your question with your first statement.

Why do you support the ETIAS initiative?

As a EU citizen I benefit from freedom of movement within the EU, why would I want extra barriers being erected between nations?

I struggle to see a benefit here, just downsides.

Edit: I don't seem to have been clear. I know intra EU travel will remain unencumbered, my point was to illustrate that both the parent and I have been benefiting from that unencumbered travel, so why go the opposite way with other nations.

I think the original reply was talking about countries like USA, Canada, Australia, NZ etc that will have to do ETIAS.

Schengen areas are still true freedom of movement.

I am an American citizen and think all electronic visas are a silly pain in the ass, but are better than traditional visas which require mailing your passport somewhere.

The world should strive for true freedom of movement for all people. Show up in person, walk through customs like everyone else regardless of passport.

ETIAS is therefore a regression from the norm. But, Vietnam used to be paper visa only, and now is E-visa. So that one is progress.

I (as a eu citizen) think calling esta, eta, etias and the like "visa-free travel" is wrong and implementing it as a replacement for actual visa freedom is a step in the wrong direction.

Having it as an intermediate step is great, though.

How is that hard to understand? Why should we treat US citizens visiting the EU better than the US is treating EU citizens entering the US?

If there's no other benefit, then we should continue to treat US citizens better than they treat us as good hosts, to maintain the moral high ground on the issue, and to demonstrate our ideals about unrestricted travel.

That just seems like an incredibly naive approach to foreign policy.

For bad behaviour, you don't help it by there being no repercussions or consequences. Maybe a lesson will be learned, and that will allow a more mature approach next time. It works for children.

Because the potential effect is that every EU nation ends up with their citizens needing visas to go to the US. The status quo is that most EU citizens get visa-free travel to the US, but some don't. I'm sure people hope the result is that all EU citizens get visa-free movement, but the opposite seems like a possibility.

(I'm not taking sides, as I don't know enough. But there is a big potential downside here).

As the top post explains, EU citizens already need a ESTA "thing" (some on here call it visa some don't). For some reason the article ignore the US ESTA entirely and calls the EU ESTIA a visa. So the US is already imposing identical restrictions and then some more for citizens of done specific EU countries.

ESTA doesn't require a consular visit, right? It seems like there is a real difference here.

There is no difference. The ESTA is an e-visa for $14 and valid for two years. The ETIAS is an e-visa for €7 and valid for three years. Neither requires a consular visit, they are completed online.

For the implementors, “visa” is a 4-letter word because it would eliminate all kinds of reciprocity agreements where EU nationals get visa-free travel.

Usually they claim some loophole like you don’t need it to hitchhike/drive, just to board a commercial plane/ship/bus in.

Those flying in a private jet need not worry about such issues.

Did you even read my full response or the top post in this thread?

Neither does the ETIAS system that the EU is introducing. The article for some reason decided to ignore the existence of ESTA altogether and then call the identical (but cheaper) ETIAS system a visa.

"There is a separate dispute between EU and US, because US imposes visas on five EU states (Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus). According the EU law, all EU countries should be treated equally or otherwise reciprocal measures should apply. There have been calls within the EU to respond tit for tat and impose EU visas on US citizens, if the issue does not get resolved soon."

That is what I, and presumably several other commentators, have been responding to.

Edit: I see that one post referred to the ETIAS initiative. But what you’re saying makes perfect sense now. I’m only talking about the visa. My apologies.

I’m willing to accept visas to the US if it means some other EU countries get the chance of not needing visas to the US any more. Anything that strengthens EU unity is positive in my book.

I'm in favour of EU solidarity. My parent split the 2 issues out and stated they were in favour of both. It also isn't the stated reason why ETIAS was introduced, so its unclear to me if this could actually lead to equal treatment of EU citizens.

Why not? the US has the death penalty, I wouldn't support the death penalty for an American in Europe. I'm not entitled to free medical care in the US, I would have no problem with an American using my health service, if needed.

If it is just a tit for tat, that just makes everyone worse off. The supposed stated aims (security) seem suspect between 2 blocs that really should be able to work together.

Most countries with free healthcare systems like you describe don't officially give that benefit to visitors from the US or other countries, with certain common exceptions like travel within the EU/EEA and people with some form of long-term residence permission like a work permit.

They will of course allow anyone to access the system. And often they don't charge because they don't want to deal with the paperwork. But they're even more often officially supposed to charge.

My (American) father once needed emergency healthcare in France. He eventually received a bill from the French government in the mail back in the US. It was way cheaper than in the US, certainly, but it was not a zero balance due either. (And yes he paid.)

But how did he pay? Did the bill assume he could pay like a local?

I never asked. Since all of his accounts are denominated in USD and based in the US, I assume he filled out and returned a credit card authorization form (and just ate his card's 3% foreign transaction fee).

Interesting. I know non-EU people end up in messes when they get a speeding ticket for their rental car and can't exactly IBAN/SEPA money over in 5 minutes or less.

I went with the next best option: Ignore it, but it was more of a "warning ticket" that they could investigate further and issue a real ticket if I didn't pay.

Every time I've bought travel insurance, it comes in two flavours: One that doesn't cover the USA, and one that does.

Unsurprisingly, the one that provides cover in the US is significantly more expensive.

Typical HN smugness in the comments. The original reply is probably referring to Schengen areas and is confused about why on earth ETIAS should apply to them

>"I believe in freedom of movement between EU nations"

Are you talking about me?

I can't find your quotation anywhere and I made a similar remark.

"I benefit from freedom of movement within the EU" ???

ETIAS does not affect freedom of movement within the EU in any way whatsoever. It is about non-EU cizitens travelling into the EU (well, the Schengen Zone).

The barriers between the EU and other countries already exist, just to a different degree. There are certain benefits of ETIAS, especially concerning the security and illegal migration, as explained by a video linked in a neighbouring post. US is already imposing ESTA on EU citizens: why should EU give in and not apply the reciprocal measures?

I know ETIAS doesn't affect intra EU travel. My point was we have both experienced the benefits of unencumbered travel (within the EU), why then support raising barriers to other nations?

Security and illegal migration seem dubious reasons to introduce (not) visas for the US. Is there a problem with illegal immigrants from the US? Terrorists?

So then we're just left with tit for tat politics. I for one would like my politicians to be more mature (ha!). This is how trade wars, and worse start. I personally would like to lead by example, be the better man, and be a good neighbour. If others don't wish to, that's their problem.

ETIAS applies to all travelers to the EU from all visa-free countries. So it isn't a "punishment" for US specifically. It is a generic change to how EU handles visa-free travel. One might argue that e-visas (which the ETIAS is) are bad for free movement of people in general. In my opinion if ETIAS (and similar systems in other countries) make traditional visas move toward obsolescence by allowing traditional-visa-free travel, it is a good stepping stone to "more free" movement.

True free movement would then be reciprocal, i.e. EU-US travel would not require either ESTA or ETIAS. Basically that would mean US would be part of Schengen Area or a new similar structure.

The discord about US requiring visas from 5 EU countries is a separate issue that might bring other actual "tit for tat" measures if not resolved.

Visas don't have to apply to all nations. The same would seem to be true of ETIAS. So the principle still stands. Why increase barriers to those wanting to travel to the the EU? Yes the stated reasons (illegal immigration, security) will apply to many countries, but that shouldn't be the default. The default should be unencumbered travel, unless there's been shown to be a good reason why that shouldn't be the case.

The US’ ESTA system exempts Canadians. So such systems are definitely capable of picking and choosing.

Because the US requires the same nonsense from EU citizens. Requiring it from theirs creates an incentive to dropping it.

No, it does not create an incentive for the US to drop ESTA. If they dropped it, that would create an asymmetry where where US citizens traveling to Europe are treated worse than Europeans traveling to the US. Hardly any American politician would want that.

Introducing this nonsense in the EU means that it will be really hard for either side to drop it, since realistically both sides would have to negotiate to drop it together. That's harder than for the US to drop it now, unilaterally.

> Introducing this nonsense in the EU means that it will be really hard for either side to drop it, since realistically both sides would have to negotiate to drop it together. That's harder than for the US to drop it now, unilaterally.

In theory, yes. In practice, no. The US had no incentive to drop it, so they wouldn't do it (they could have done it a long time ago if they wanted). Now, they have an incentive to think about it and talk to the EU about a treaty which drops it for both sides.

At least the EU made theirs 3 years.

I challenge them to do the Canadian thing and make it 5 years.

I might be reading this wrong, but I believe this isn't about movement between EU members, but rather the requirements for states outside of the European union.

As an EU citizen you won't have any restrictions, but the rest of the world, including the UK, will have to get these e-visas.

The other part only pertains to the USA, where they make certain EU members get a visa and the EU is arguing that the EU should as a whole treat the USA in the same manner, give them visas.

So I don't believe this stated they would put up extra barriers between EU nations, only external nations.

> Ironically, after Brexit, this requirement will also apply to UK

If by "Ironically" you mean "Therefore".

As a US citizen who travels to the Schengen area frequently, I also support these measures. Our world needs more open borders and more freedom of movement. I hope this puts pressure on the US government to implement visa policies that support freedom.

> There have been calls within the EU to respond tit for tat

Require everyone from Texas to obtain a Visa. Maybe then the message will sink in

The thing is EU is still not a country. It’s not as easy for a Bulgarian to go live in France and claim French citizenship compared to a Californian fully moving to Texas.

Any Bulgarian may go to any EU country and get employed, no questions asked.

Citizenship is a different thing and I don't see how it's related to this discussion.

A country's people is its citizens. What you're describing with the EU is open borders between countries. The EU is not a state or country under the definitions created at the peace of Westphelia. Ironically the solution over fighting over the same type of issues in the same geographic areas, although in the name of uniformity of religion instead of closer integration/market uniformity.

Small-state citizenship relates to the discussion as one point of comparison as to super-state unity.

The United States really is one country, and is Constitutionally required to maintain unity, to have only one front for international affairs, and to allow U.S. citizens to be citizens of the state in which they reside.

None of these is true in the EU. EU member states are permitted to leave. Each EU member state carries on its own foreign relations. Each EU citizen maintains citizenship in the EU member state of his or her birth.

The EU is not at all analogous to the United States after the Constitution of 1798 and post-Texas v. White. There might be an argument that it's similar to the United States under the Articles of Confederation. Any insistance that they are more similar is a false equivalency. That is the point of GP.

I never said EU is one country but the OP said: "It’s not as easy for a Bulgarian to go live in France". Which is false.

That is not correct. The quote is "It’s not as easy for a Bulgarian to go live in France AND claim French citizenship compared to a Californian fully moving to Texas" (emphasis added).

In the interest of promoting honest discourse, please do not truncate people's statements. If a Californian "fully" moves to Texas, i.e., establishes domicile there, then they become a citizen of Texas. That is a key difference.

ok then I misunderstood the original post. The way I understood was that those are two different actions 1. Bulgarian live in France, 2. Bulgarian claim French citizenship.

It's very easy for a Bulgarian to go and live in France, that's the point. Claiming French citizenship is a different things entirely.

This is false.

California and Texas are sovereign states, and becoming a citizen of California is really just a matter of moving there. Acts and corporations of Texas are recognized as "foreign" in California. Citizens of California have to swear a loyalty oath to the state to work for it, and all able-bodied male citizens of California are members of the unorganized militia and are subject to the state code of military justice. Treason against California is punishable by death, as is treason against Texas (apart from treason against the US). Per the Tenth Amendment, the federal government has only the sovereignty granted to it by the states via the Constitution.

As a country, you can move almost anywhere in the US and have full citizenship rights. (Note that Puerto Rico, American Samoa, etc are not part of the US, and you don't get automatic rights when you move there. American Somoans are not even US citizens by birth, for example, because it's not part of the US. Palmyra Atoll and DC are the only part of the US not part of a state, and residents are not citizens of a state and don't have full US citizenship rights.)

This is really bad reporting. It isn't just US citizens, click here for a list of the 57 countries that will also require ETIAS in 2021:


It even includes the island of Palau and their population of 20,000 people:


This has nothing to do specifically with the US.

It’s funny to see the scam sites launch so quickly, just so they can charge 50 EUR in 2021 for sending in your 7 EUR application.

Well, the US has never been good in terms of caring of other countries. This also just applies when it comes down to reporting...

This is in response to security concerns for some EU countries, so it's really just a political tit for tat.

"The United States has been in a dispute with the EU's European Parliament and European Commission over visas for Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus. Travelers in those five countries are the only EU nations that the US requires to apply for a visa."

The EU is acting as a single political body, that's good. The US requires a visa for visiting from the EU, thus the EU requires the same to USA visitors.

It's not that good. Now travel for millions of Americans is becoming more of a hassle. This suits the political agenda of the EU because it wants all of Europe to be a single country run by itself and doesn't care about collateral damage along the way or even revels in it (look how big and powerful we are). But in the end it's still just making travel harder for people, despite all their rhetoric about how freedom of movement is one of their "four pillars".

There is no obligation for countries to always get bigger, or for countries to pretend there's no regional variations. ESTA is a pain and stupid and it gives me a worse impression of the USA every time I have to fill it out. There is no reason why the rest of the world should follow suit.

I see nobody else has said it yet, so I will - I hope that after Brexit the UK can drop this ETIAS nonsense and be more welcoming to Americans, even if they don't drop ESTA in response.

The reason the rest of the world should follow suit is to pressure the US to drop ESTA. Visa free is visa free - if your country creates additional hassles, expect the other country to respond in kind.

What security concerns?

But you don’t need a visa for travelling to all these five countries (for up to 90 days of stay). All of them (without Poland) are not in Schengen area for now, so maybe that’s the reason of this.

https://www.mae.ro/en/node/2040 https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-tra...


Wrong way around... The US isn't allowing citizens of those countries in without a visa, and the EU principles generally say that visa(-free) reciprocity has to apply to all members (which in the case of the US has been ignored for years by the commission). That said, this new stuff seems to be pre-clearance for "visa-free" travel, so not really a change to this.

To be honest it very much looks like the US ESTA which is a visa in disguise. This seems like a legitimate reciprocity to the measures the US have taken against Europeans.

This is for an electronic travel authorization, which the US, Australia and Canada already require of all visitors. It's simple and takes minutes online, hardly a 'visa.'

> It's simple and takes minutes online, hardly a 'visa.'

Except when it doesn't. If your visa waiver is refused then you have to visit the US embassy to get a "traditional" visa, and sometimes that's not even possible to get.

Yes, the ESTA and now the US citizens have to do something similar to enter the EU. I hope they also need to pay for it when they just have a stopover in the EU just like us in the US. I am fully on board with this as a EU citizen

as a US citizen from a 'shithole' country, I fully support it, lets all US/EU citizens experience what we all had to. Fill in a ton of papers, prove that you're a human too and get rejected.

Did the title or article change since this was posted? As of writing:

- The title of the article is "US citizens will need to register to visit parts of Europe starting in 2021"

- The article includes the quote "The [US State Department] official added that the "ETIAS authorization is not a visa.""

Where did the "visa" in the HN title come from?

Tell that to the accidental Canadians or Americans (ie: born in Canada or US, but lived 99% of their life in Europe).

Then when they tried to get an authorization, they got rejected and told their EU passport is worthless and to get a Canadian/US one).

It’s a lot messier for the EU because of jus sanguine. Toooons of EU citizens that haven’t/won’t bother to get the passport.

I guess I’ll have to do it and waste the embassy’s time in a language I know 20 words of.

>This is for an electronic travel authorization, which the US, Australia and Canada already require of all visitors

Canada does not require any visa for Americans tourists. All I need to do is bring a passport (or passport card if driving in)

Correct: they’ve exempted each other.

Lots of dual citizens.

If Canada required Canadian passports from dual US/Canada nationals, an American in that situation could lose their security clearance.

(Usually the US is okay with being a dual citizen if you haven’t taken advantage of it in any way).

Australia ya, but Canada? The last time I visited Canada by car, I didn’t need electronic travel authorization, so there must be some exemption rather than all visitors.

Canadian eTA only applies to arrival by plane.

The situation is similar for ESTA and travel to the United States. ESTA is required for travel by plane and ship, but not over land. If you are planning to apply for admission to the US under the visa waiver program at a crossing of the land borders with Canada or Mexico, you don’t need ESTA.

(There are a few ferries between British Columbia and Washington state that are also treated as a land border.)

Interesting, I misunderstood the info I got while traveling there. The way the border agents phrased it I required esta as well as an additional form, but the website I checked now says I wouldn't have needed the esta as you said!

For me, arriving at the US by land was by far a worse experience than arriving by air, as my passport was taken until they had time to process me, waiting in a room i was not allowed to leave, then filling out an additional form and paying additionally. Contrasted to arriving by air "do you have esta? -> yes -> have fun" at the immigration.

Last week I flew from New York to Montreal, and I didn't have to get a travel authorization or pay a fee. I just showed up with my passport, all very easy.

How do you define a visa then?

In practice it would probably be best to use the terminology of the country you are visiting. A visa is a document that says “Visa” on it. Things like US ESTA, Schengen ETIAS, Canadian eTA, etc., are not called visas by the jurisdictions that issue them. If a country makes it easy to apply for visas online without an interview, and calls that a “visa,” then it’s a visa.

Some other countries don’t have advance electronic approval, but do distinguish between visa-on-arrival and visa-free transit, and it would be advisable to follow each country’s terminology. Australia does refer to its ETA and eVisitor programs as a “visa” in official literature.

Otherwise you could end up confused and say the wrong thing. For example if you arrive at the border and the officer asks “Do you have a visa?” and you answer “Yes” but only have a travel authorization, you have suddenly made a false statement and could be in trouble.

"An endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country."

A hat and a helmet both protect your head, but you wouldn't call them by the same name.

Well, with centralised IT systems, it doesn't need to be a physical sticker on your passport but rather an authorization number associated with your passport number (more secure than relying on someone not faking the sticker). But the vetting process is still there. Fundamentally isn't it the exact same thing (a sort of an electronic helmet)?

You asked for a definition, so I looked it up. I'm not advocating a specific opinion.

Wikipedia almost agrees with you, but the "on a passport" part doesn't connect.

>A visa (from the Latin charta visa, meaning "paper that has been seen")[1] is a conditional authorization granted by a country to a foreigner, allowing them to enter, remain within, or to leave that country.

Why does it matter to you if it goes into the passport or not? If I recall correctly my F1 Visa for the US didn't go into my passport either, but was a separate document.

When I hear "visa" I think of mailing something to a consulate or going there personally for an application, paying a good chunk of money and waiting weeks to hopefully get approval.

But isn't the ESTA procedure exactly the electronic equivalent of that?

I guess the point is that they need different words for this two-tier system. If they currently use "visa" to mean the kind where you have to show up for an interview and have something glued into your passport, then saying this is not-a-visa makes some sense.

There tends to be a massive difference between the effort required to get a visa, and the effort required to get ESTA.

ESTA roughly as annoying as booking a plane ticket if you don't already have an account with a pre-filled profile, and usually granted instantly.

A visa request, even if done online, can easily cost you many hours filling out forms, scanning documents, etc., and often takes weeks to process.

It's also much rarer for an ESTA to be denied than for a visa to be denied.

There's a reason why passportindex.org distinguishes mostly between "real" visa requirements, and mostly pro-forma stuff like ESTA, visa-on-arrival etc.

Plenty of countries have tourist visas that you can easily get online for a small amount of money. Exactly like the US's not-a-visa. For example Turkey's tourist visa costs $20.

They're all visas.

The article apparently cannot agree with itself either on this question.

The travel between the USA and Canada requires no authorization for citizens, ESTA or otherwise.

The elephant in the room is that between the EU and US, there should be no visa at all, ideally some kind of free move zone like the EU is itself (and befriended states like Switzerland)

>there should be no visa at all

And why is that?

We need people to travel and get different perspectives more and not less. I too often see arguments in political discourse that something could never work, yet I've been to many countries where these things are normal. For example, I want all US citizens to experience a great pic transportation system so that we can elevate the discussion in the US about it. Likewise I want everyone to experience a Japanese city, so that we can have a better discussion about the forever in the US and Japan's zoning system. I want Germans to see that the sky doesn't fall off you get rid off the insane system that requires permission from existing, local stores before you can open your own or just even see how convenient a countdown on a traffic light can be.

We have so much to learn from each other! In fact I wish we could make it mandatory for everyone to have to live a year in a foreign country. It would make the world a much better place.

> In fact I wish we could make it mandatory for everyone to have to live a year in a foreign country.

I get where you're coming from and agree that would be great for America but I really don't want mass migration of Americans to Europe. The number we have is enough. The culture is poisonous and already destroying America (see homelessness, healthcare, government shutdowns, racial conflicts, political divisions), we don't need it spreading here any more than it already is.

If Americans showed any inclination of integrating this might be a different story but I'm surrounded by expats who despite residing in European countries for years haven't learned the language, put their kids in English-speaking schools and otherwise gone about their American lifestyles in European countries without any apparent consideration for the locals (and often go on to complain about how "unwelcoming" the countries they live in are).

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Americans, I don't think they're horrible people and the country certainly has huge achievements. However, the idea of mass (albeit temporary) migration to/from Europe to give "different perspectives" terrifies me, as it feels like it'll largely be in a single direction, at least when it comes to culture.

Unfortunately I think you make a good point. I vividly remember how during my most recent Japan visit I'd feel frequently embarrassed for other westerners who were either unwilling out unable to talk quietly in public and especially on trains. It almost physically hurt. Meanwhile I know Asians who've lived on the US since many years and still haven't figured out that it's bad behavior her to make loud chewing noises while eating. Maybe the majority of people just aren't interested in learning alternative ways to live.

It's honestly really hard for me to wrap my head around this, since hardly anything is more interesting to me than learning about other cultures, their different norms etc. It not only opens your eyes to how some things could be better but you also gain a fresh perspective on your own culture and yourself.

Keep in mind that not everyone wants others to experience their country. If everybody went to Bhutan, it’d lose everything that makes it unique. If a country imposed a visa policy on other countries, most of the time, they do it based on some degree of reason (although some are definitely petty bullshit reasons).

And visas aren’t even really a hindrance for Americans going to Europe or most countries. They’ll be stamped off pretty much guaranteed, unless you’ve got major criminal convictions or reason to be suspicious (like planning a 6 month vacation with <$1000 in the bank). The real problem is paying for flight tickets, hotels, and actually getting vacation time.

I think the point was that work should be reciprocally permitted. That is probably the most basic difference between visiting somewhere and living there.

That is a shame. Whenever I would take a long trip that went geographically over the EU, I would usually buy a ticket that had a 8+ hour layover somewhere in the EU and tour around for a little while. I guess I will now have to find another country to take a layover in. Maybe I will start flying British Airway if the UK lets me visit visa free.

Ugh, I hope their system avoids some real messes, but unlikely:

1) massive number of scam sites charging tons of money to submit your application (hopefully)

2) doesn’t crash on the first day

3) doesn’t exempt rich people that come by private plane (unlikely)

4) still allows EU nationals to get into EU with the Canadian or American passports. I’m technically an EU citizen by lineage, but havent bothered to get that passport since I don’t even speak the language.

It will probably still have to loophole if flying into a non-EU country and then driving in.

It sounds like this e-visa is good for 3 years... does that mean hypothetically I could go digital nomad in Schengen Area as a US citizen?

It probably just means that for the next 3 years you don't have to re-apply every time you visit, but doesn't change anything about how long you're allowed to stay.

If you conduct business or "work", you might have to get a separate visa with different terms. EU seems to be pretty strict about "work-permits". There are risks to doing such activities on a regular tourist visa.

I was under the impression if you're employed by a US company and simply traveling you're fine. The EU has a pretty strict definition of "working" - eg checking an email from your boss on vacation in Berlin is technically working.

I think what would run afoul is if you're doing journalism, photography, or something where you're doing the work in th EU, versus firing up a corporate VPN and writing code on a US server for a US company.

(Keep in mind you can do things like go to meetings or attend conferences w/o a special visa in the EU and Canada currently)

I suspect in the long term "digital nomad" visas will become a thing. After all, if someone wants to work in say, Tokyo or Talinn for 2 years in their early 20s, and is willing to pay Japanese or Estonian taxes, that could be a win win. You get someone in a high tax bracket bringing money in, and presumably buying other things (eating out, rent etc).

Wonder what the risks are.

This isn’t a visa, and the 90 days visa-free travel allowance still applies.

When scenario that really has really caused issues in the Canadian system is that they required Canadian permanent residents and Canadian work permit holders to travel with those permits.

They were ineligible for the Canadian ETIAS.

But if they lost their permits while overseas, it could take weeks for a new permit, meanwhile a Canadian passport holder could get a new one in 24hrs.

Completely useless response from our incompetent and overpaid European politicians two months before the elections. The world goes in one direction, and what do they do? They really think to increase security by applying these measures against countries like USA, Canada or Mexico... ? I must be living in a parallel universe.

Americans are usually extremely lazy about this stuff. I wonder what the effects are going to be on Tourism in Europe.

It won't be a problem. It's not like Americans bring any tourist money to the EU.

Checking in from Paris, yes they do bring a lot of money.

Pretty sure he was being sarcastic.

Sorry, yes I noticed he was being sarcastic but just wanted to make it clear for anyone wondering :)

No, no visa will be needed.

The EU is introducing a system equivalent to the US's ESTA. (Most) EU citizens may travel visa-free to the US but must register (and pay) on ESTA.

It will be the same for US citizens to travel to the EU.

Both systems are visas. Fact.

No, they are not.

ESTA specifically allows people to travel visa-free.

We are witnessing the breakdown of the world order established post WWII. The EU exists because of the US. Its security and trade routes are guaranteed because the US is an ally. No EU country has a military that compares to that of the US, especially in terms of naval power.

Hindering access to the EU may be a minor nuisance on the surface. But its a harbinger of worse things to come and undermines the unprecedented peace and stability we've seen in the world in the last 75 years.

The EU exists because of Europeans. The US do not want the EU to be a political power.

The US have had the 20th century, that great for them but it's high time for Europe to recover.

You don’t see how the Marshall Plan helped at all? That of course, being after that little skirmish of World War 2.

The Marshall Plan was the US keeping the Reds at bay.

Peanuts in comparison to the jackpot that WWII was for the US, and it cemented their influence.

Preposterous! Central American citizens don't need a visa to visit the United States!

This sounds amazing! When I first began traveling, I had to strategically time my time in the Schengen region to not overstay 90 days within a 180 day period. I ended up going to the Balkan region for a few months before circling back into the Schengen at the tail end.

This setup allows for 3-years multi-entry. That's insane! Well done, EU.

The 90 days within 180 days period restriction still applies. It's just that you will need a visa now and it will last 3 years whereas you didn't need one before.

So, given that the ETIAS was only for 5 countries of the EU and the EU has reciprocated by enacting a union wide measure that, essentially requires the same thing (in school yard fashion); are we now going to "push back" and require an ESTA for all countries in the EU?

Your comment confuses multiple points:

* US requires visas for travellers from 5 EU countries, only ESTA for others. EU requires equal treatment of member nations. This is the point of the EU-USA discord

* ETIAS is an electronic travel authorisation system similar to the ESTA, and applies to all travelers to the EU from visa-free countries. Practically ESTA and ETIAS are both e-visas. This applies to all countries, not just the US.

Which EU countries do NOT require an ESTA to travel to the US?

To my understanding it was only Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Poland and ....shoot, I always forget the 5th one, anyway, I'll edit this when I look it up. That needed one.

I believe these countries need real visa. Germany etc. still need ESTA.

Will visitors be permitted to stay longer than 90 days per 180 days?

No, since the traditional visa waivers are only for stays of up to 90 days originally as well. So you'll still need a visa for longer stays, most likely either a work or student visa.


> You can enter the Schengen member states for as many times as you want, for as long as your ETIAS is valid, and you have not stayed more than 90 days in a 180 days period.

“The Union said that the ETIAS visa is valid for three years and allows Americans to enter the Schengen Area as many times as necessary.”

> if I’m understanding this correctly, it’ll make things easier for nomads

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