Tuesday, June 25, 2024

European Union to require U.S. travelers with passports to fill out visa application

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BOSTON – New requirements are on the horizon for travelers with a U.S. passport looking to get to Europe. 

The European Union continues to plan the rollout of new travel document requirements through its European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). It would require travelers with U.S. passports to fill out an online visa application before being granted entry into the EU. 

“It won’t be complicated, it’s just an annoyance,” said CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg. “Most Americans, in fact, all Americans, are not used to doing this to go to Europe so there’s going to be lots of surprises at boarding gates with people being denied boarding over the first couple of weeks, if this goes into effect.” 

Greenberg was quick to point out this new system is not a done deal. Currently slated to roll out in January of 2024, the idea has been delayed before and is expected to be delayed again. 

“Because if they institute it, there is nothing to stop the Americans from instituting a visa charge for them to come into the United States,” said Greenberg. “It doesn’t prove anything other than more paperwork and more revenue that goes nowhere.” 

As currently proposed, the ETIAS would be an online application at a cost of $8 per traveler. The application would ask for basic information, travel plans and history, along with other security questions. 

Approval could take as little as ten minutes but as long as 96 hours for more complicated applications. Greenberg said U.S. airlines would face the pressure of making sure no passengers without approved visa board planes to the EU. Approved visas would last a traveler for three years or until their passport expired, whichever comes first. 

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