The Latest on Europe Border Controls for Canadian and U.S. Travellers

As we have been reporting, normal border crossing rules in Europe’s Schengen Area are being temporarily adjusted by individual countries in the wake of the recent terrorist events in France and Belgium.

Ordinarily, member countries of the Schengen Agreement (26 mostly European Union nations) do not require passport or visa checks for travellers crossing into neighbouring countries. Travellers from outside the Schengen Area must go through passport or visa checks upon initial entry but can then travel freely throughout any of the 26 member countries.

But these are not ordinary times, and some member countries have unilaterally imposed temporary border controls on their neighbouring countries and other international travellers from visa-waiver countries. (Carriers of Canadian and U.S. passports do not require visas for trips to any Schengen country of up to 90 days.)

The European Union allows its members to invoke temporary border checks, but only for specified periods and as a “last resort.”

Following are some of those controls listed by the European Commission. We caution, though, that these could change at any time. Stay with us and we’ll keep you updated.


Temporarily reintroduced border controls in the context of events requiring immediate action.

Sweden (12 November – 11 December 2015) due to unprecedented influx of persons: All borders, but with special focus on southern and western harbours and the Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden


Temporarily reintroduced border controls in the context of foreseeable events.

Austria (16 November 2015 – 15 February 2016): All borders, but with special focus on the Slovenian–Austrian land border; the border can be crossed only at the authorized border crossing points.

Germany (14 November – 13 February 2016): All borders, with special focus on the German–Austrian land border.

France (13 November – 13 December 2015): Due to the Paris Climate Change Conference.


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