Dreaming of a European getaway? Think again. In a significant shift, Americans planning to explore the beauty of Europe will face a new hurdle starting 2025. The era of visa-free travel for U.S. citizens across 30 European countries is coming to an end. Let's dive into the details of this major change and understand what it means for your future European vacations.
The ETIAS Travel Authorization System: A New Requirement for American Travelers
If you're planning a trip to Europe, it may not be as simple as just booking a flight and hotel stay. Beginning in 2025, Americans will have to get travel authorization to enter 30 countries marking the end of visa-free travel in Europe for U.S. citizens.
Understanding ETIAS: The Entry Ticket to Europe
An ETIAS travel authorization is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals traveling to the 30 European countries. The authorization is linked to a traveler's passport, valid for up to three years or until the passport expires. Learn about the process, requirements, and essential details regarding this new travel norm.
Which European countries require visa?
Who Should Apply for an ETIAS Travel Authorisation?
As a general rule, you will need an ETIAS travel authorisation if you meet all the following criteria:
you are not an EU national;
you do not have a residence permit/card/document issued by any of the European countries requiring ETIAS
What you need to apply?
To submit your application, you must possess an eligible travel document suitable for the affixation of a visa. Your travel document should not expire in less than three months and it should not be older than 10 years.
When filling out the application, you will be asked to provide the following information:
Personal information including your name(s), surname, date and place of birth, nationality, home address, parents’ first names, email address and phone number;
Travel document details;
Details about your level of education and current occupation;
Details about your intended travel and stay in any of the countries requiring ETIAS;
Details about any criminal convictions, any past travels to war or conflict zones, and whether you have recently been subject of a decision requiring you to leave the territory of any country.
You will need to declare that the data you submit and the statements you make are correct. Applications for minors (under 18 years of age) have to be submitted by a person exercising permanent or temporary parental authority or legal guardianship.
You will need a payment card to cover a 7 euro fee (appx $7.79). You can use a variety of online payment options to pay the fee. Applicants who are under 18 or above 70 years of age are exempt from this payment. Also exempt are family members of EU citizens or of non-EU nationals who have the right to move freely throughout the European Union.
How long does it take to obtain a visa?
After filling in an online application form, the system will conduct checks against EU information systems for borders and security and, in the vast majority of cases, issue a travel authorisation within minutes. In limited cases, where further checks on the traveller are needed, the issuing of the travel authorisation could take up to 30 days.
It is expected that the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be operational from mid-2025.
For more information about the new visa requirments to travel to europe, visit European Union's website.
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