Starting in 2022 Travel to Europe Will Require an Extra Step


2 minute read

A new screening process will affect citizens from over 60 countries

Starting in 2022, U.S. citizens and nationals of over 60 other countries will need an electronic travel authorization to visit much of Europe.

Travelers to any Schengen-zone country will have to register with a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). ETIAS will be similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) already used in the United States.

How will it work?

Most travelers have no need to worry. The process will involve a quick online application and a €7.00 credit card payment. According to the European Commission, “ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.”

The authorization will be valid for unlimited entries within a three-year period so travelers who frequent Europe won’t need to apply every time. Without a visa (ETIAS is not a visa), U.S. citizens will still need to limit their travel to 90 days within any 180-day period (the current limit).

Americans will need an electronic authorization to visit Europe
Americans will need an electronic authorization to visit Europe
Image courtesy of Pixabay

If I’m traveling to Europe, when should I apply for ETIAS authorization?

Until 2022, ETIAS authorization will not be required. Once it goes into effect travelers should be able to obtain the authorization online within minutes, in most cases. Of course it’s better not to wait until the last minute. In rare cases applicants may be asked for additional information, which could take a few days or longer to process.

Which countries does this apply to?

ETIAS authorization will be needed for travel to any country that is part of the Schengen Borders Agreement. This includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

I’m not a U.S. citizen. Will this affect me?

ETIAS will apply to anyone who travels visa-free to the Schengen area. This includes nationals of over 60 countries. More information can be found within the European Commission’s press release regarding ETIAS.

Learn about life abroad

Read about the adventures others have had and get excited for yours.

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation