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Americans will be required to obtain a visa before visiting Europe In 2024

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Starting in 2024, Americans will no longer enjoy visa-free travel throughout most of Europe.

In a reciprocal move to the US ESTA system introduced in 2009, which mandated European Union citizens to obtain a visa for visiting the United States, the European Union is set to implement a similar requirement for American travelers.

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What this means is that Americans intending to visit any EU countries will need to complete a visa application through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) before their trip.

The Application Process for the ETIAS

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) streamlines the visa application process with a simple online application. Travelers provide basic personal details, travel plans, history, and answer security questions.

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Most applications are approved within an hour, though some may undergo additional security checks, extending the wait time to up to 96 hours. The proposed fee for the ETIAS online application is $8 per traveler.

Upon approval, travelers receive a travel authorization valid for multiple entries over three years or until their US passport expires.

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Why is the European Union Implementing the ETIAS?

The implementation aims to enhance border security and digital screening of American visitors going into European Union countries. The main goal of the European Travel Information and Authorization System is to tighten border security and digitally screen/track travelers entering and leaving the countries.

This will also serve as an additional way to earn money from American travelers visiting any of the European Union Countries.

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Will All European Union Countries Require the ETIAS?

The ETIAS, European Travel Information and Authorization System, will be required for travel to all 27 member countries, including full Schengen members: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Notes for Americans Planning to Visit European Union Countries in 2024

United States passport holders were allowed to stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa, and this timeline will remain unchanged once the ETIAS is in place. For stays longer than 90 days, a special visa will be required.

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With the US ESTA, many European travelers experienced visa denials for traveling to countries like Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, so it will come as no surprise if American travelers experience visa denial for visiting certain countries too.

The rollout date for the ETIAS is yet to be communicated, but make sure to keep an eye on this before your future impromptu trip to any of the countries part of the European Union.

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