In November 2023, Europe will introduce the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), where U.S. citizens traveling to Europe must apply for entry and pay a small visitor fee, roughly $7.50. This fee is only for adults between the ages of 18 to 70.
This fee will be for the Schengen Area, which includes most EU countries except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania. The non-EU States in the Schengen Area include Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania are currently in the process of joining.
The Schengen Area of Europe is a passport-free zone and the world's largest free travel area. All EU citizens have the freedom to travel, work and live in any country in the Schengen Area without being subject to border checks.
Why was the ETIAS Established?
The ETIAS system was put into place to improve the security of the Schengen area, primarily by requiring these visa-free travelers to obtain travel authorization and undergo various security checks before they arrive in the EU.
What does Schengen mean?
The name “Schengen” comes from a small winemaking town in Luxembourg, where the agreement was signed in 1985 by France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
The U.S. has a similar system in place for non-U.S. citizens called ESTA.
What do Americans need
to go to Europe?
Requirements for U.S. citizens when applying for an ETIAS are a passport valid for three months beyond the return date to the U.S.
Applicants with dual nationality should travel to the Eurozone with the passport they used in the application. This is important as the application will be electronically linked to that passport.
How Long Can a U.S. Citizen
stay in Europe?
U.S. citizens can travel to the Schengen Area for up to 90 days every 180 days, but after November 2023, they must fill out the ETIAS application before travel.
The good thing is that the application for the ETIAS visa waiver is valid for three years and has no limit on entries.