The European Commission is being urged to require U.S. citizens to obtain visas for travel to Europe in an effort to obtain full visa waiver reciprocity for all European Union (EU) nations.

Currently, five EU nations are not eligible to travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.  Citizens of these countries must obtain visas from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad before visiting the United States.

In response, the European Parliament has approved a non-binding resolution urging the European Commission to temporarily suspend visa-free travel of U.S. citizens to EU countries.  If adopted, U.S. citizens would be required to obtain visas for travel to Europe until the United States extends the visa waiver program to all EU nations.

The resolution cites a rule requiring the European Commission to take action within two years against any country that fails to provide full visa reciprocity for EU nations.  The European Commission notified the U.S. in April 2014, so the two-year “warning period” has expired.  At the same time, Canada, Australia, Brunei and Japan were also notified of their failure to provide full reciprocity.  Australia, Brunei and Japan have since extended visa-free travel to all EU nations, and Canada has agreed to do so later this year.

The European Parliament has urged the Commission to take action to suspend visa-free travel for U.S. citizens within two months, but it remains unclear if this will happen.  The European Commission has apparently expressed concern that imposing visa requirements on American travelers to Europe will negatively affect both tourism and trade and, as a result, the European economy.  If the resolution is adopted within the requested timeframe, it may be just in time for the busy summer travel season.

Mintz Levin will monitor this situation and provide further updates as they become available.

The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island) went to the polls June 23rd and voted to leave the European Union. Some pro-leave “Brexit” campaigners argued for the ability to limit migration of EU workers as an important issue in the run-up to the referendum.  But what practical effect would a UK exit from the EU have on immigration to that country?  Continue Reading Brexit: Immigration consequences to the UK leaving the EU?

Kings Cross Station, London (Shutterfly)
Kings Cross Station, London (Shutterfly)

From: Ned Help

To: Carrie Counselor

Subject:  Lost laptop containing European customer information

Carrie,

A couple of weeks ago, you wrote me about an employee who will be engaging in a six-month temporary assignment around Europe to scope market opportunities. The employee was Abbie Absent-Minded.  Well, we hit a snag pretty quickly.  Abbie just e-mailed me to say that she left her laptop on a train in London last evening and it hasn’t turned up yet in the train company’s lost-and-found.  It was a brand-new laptop that we had given her for her European assignment, so fortunately it didn’t have a lot on it.  Abbie said that the laptop had contact information for her various marketing prospects, plus some sample customer data that she was given by one of her prospects to use in a demo of our web-based advertising product.  She thinks that the customer data included around 200 records with the customer’s name, age, gender, e-mail address and the history of purchases that the customer made from our prospective client’s retail stores.

I assume that we should tell our prospective client that the laptop with their customer data was lost.  What else do we need to think about?

Thanks,

Ned


Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Lost laptop with customer data

From: Carrie Counselor

To: Ned Help

Subject: RE: Privacy considerations for employees working abroad

Dear Ned,

I understand that one of your employees will be engaging a six-month temporary assignment around Europe to scope market opportunities, and you’d like to have a better understanding of what to be thinking about in terms of privacy.  Great question!  This is an area where many employers struggle because other jurisdictions protect privacy and personal data quite differently than we do here in the United States. Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Privacy considerations for employees working abroad

Canada has mandated registration in a new electronic travel authorization program (“eTA”) for many individuals who do not require visas to travel to Canada. Introduced in August 2015, the program becomes mandatory for many visa-exempt individuals traveling to Canada by air on or after March 15, 2016. Individuals traveling to Canada by land or sea are exempt from registering. Citizens of the United States are exempt from the eTA system regardless of whether they travel to Canada by air, land, or sea.  Continue Reading Canada Mandates New Electronic Travel Authorization Program