Wednesday, June 19, 2024

US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024

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The days of visa-free travel throughout most of Europe are about to change. Starting early next year, the European Union will implement the European Travel Information and Authorization System requiring all visitors from visa-free countries to obtain travel authorization prior to their departure.

Application Process

The European Travel Information and Authorization System is not your traditional visa. It’s a straightforward online application process with approval delivered by email. Travelers will need to fill out an online form with basic biographical information, travel plans and travel history, along with security questions. While most applicants will receive approval within an hour, some may experience a wait of up to 96 hours for further checks. The cost of the application is approximately $8, applicable to travelers of all ages. Once approved, the travel authorization will be valid for multiple entries over three years or until the traveler’s passport expires.

Tourist looking at Eiffel Tower from rooftop, Paris, France

Photo credit: Westend61

Many Americans were apprehensive about the additional travel document, but as more details about European Travel Information and Authorization System emerge, travelers are finding the process simpler than expected.

“It’s still easy for us to travel to Europe,” said Alexa Moore, a frequent traveler to Europe for both business and leisure. “It’s just one more step we have to think about before our trip.”

European Travel Information and Authorization System will be required for travel to all member countries including full Schengen members, like Spain, France, and Italy, European Free Trade Association countries, like Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, future Schengen members, like Bulgaria and Cyprus, and European microstates, like Andorra and Monaco.

It Will Enhance Border Security & Digital Screening

The primary aim of European Travel Information and Authorization System is to tighten border security, digitally screen and track travelers entering and leaving the countries. The program’s purpose and application process are akin to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization program for visitors to the U.S., making travelers more understanding of the new requirement.

As Europe gears up for the rollout, it’s essential to remember that the length of time American tourists can spend in Europe remains unchanged. United States passport holders are still allowed to stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. For stays longer than 90 days, a special visa will be required.

Although the exact launch date of the new travel authorization is uncertain, it is unlikely the European Travel Information and Authorization System will discourage anyone from traveling to Europe.

“I’m bummed about it, but it does seem easy enough,” says travel blogger Nicki Post, acknowledging the fairness of reciprocating entry requirements between nations.

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