Starting in 2021, US Citizens Will Need New Visa to Visit Europe

PHOTO: Eiffel tower at sunrise and airplane in the blue sky (photo via anyaberkut / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Now is the time for Americans to visit Europe because beginning in 2021, it won’t be as easy.

On Friday, the European Union announced that travelers from the United States will need a new type of visa to visit the European Schengen Area.

A European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS visa will be required of U.S. travelers trying to enter Europe effective January 1, 2021. The exact cost of the visa is not known at this time.

The European Schengen Area is made up of 26 countries, but this new visa will only apply to 22 of those countries, which includes popular tourist regions in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Those Americans who wish to travel to the United Kingdom will not need to apply for the visa.

U.S. citizens must have a valid passport, an email account and a credit or debit card in order to apply for the visa, as well as answer “some basic security questions.” Minors, however, will only need their regular passports to travel.

Once you obtain the new visa, it will be valid for three years and for multiple entries. You won’t need to re-apply for a visa each time you decide to visit Europe during those three years.

As of 2019, US citizens are allowed to travel throughout Europe for up to 90 days without needing a visa.

You might be wondering, why exactly is Europe making me apply for a new visa come 2021?

According to the ETIAS website, “Europe has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism…This process allows European immigration and customs authorities to pre-screen all travelers and confirm their status before permitting them entry or even to board a flight thus improving security measures throughout the Schengen area.”

Safety is key when traveling, and now Europe is taking extra measures to ensure their most

Click here to see all 22 countries that will require the ETIAS visa waiver in 2021 and stay tuned to TravelPulse for more updates.

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