Europe without borders? Not anymore

60 countries citizens, Americans included, will need to register to visit Europe in 2021

American citizens, and other 59 countries travelers, that intend to go to a European Schengen-zone country, will need to apply for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System). The new measure, that is not a visa but a pre-authorization to enter the EU, will come into effect from 2021. It was adopted by the European Union to improve their security level and avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism.

To obtain the Europe Visa Waiver for Americans, US citizens will need to have a valid passport, a credit or debit card and an email account. These are the main ETIAS requirements for US citizens which each applicant must have on hand when applying. Without the right travel document the applicant could be denied access. On the ETIAS webpage you can check the requirements for other nationalities. The new measure applies to travelers from Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel, among others.

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Travelers can complete an ETIAS application and pay a service fee of 7€ (about $8) online. The authorization is valid for three years.

“Completing the online application should not take more than 10 minutes with automatic approval being given in over 95% of cases,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Currently there are no visas for US citizens traveling to Europe for 90-day stays for tourism or visiting relatives due to the agreements between the two world powers.

The Schengen Area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries such as France, Spain, France, Italy and Germany.