Visa Requirement for Americans Traveling to Europe from 2024
In the upcoming year, American travelers will face a significant change in their European journeys as visa-free travel will no longer be applicable to 30 countries within the region.
Recently, the European Union unveiled a fresh security program, which stipulates that U.S. passport holders will be required to obtain travel authorization before embarking on their trips to any of the countries that now demand visas. This new requirement will encompass popular destinations such as Spain, France, and Greece.
To help American travelers prepare for this shift, here’s everything they need to know about the upcoming changes.
Here’s How the Application Process Work?
Before you finalize your travel plans to Europe, make sure to visit the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). Applying for the visa early and getting approval in advance will not only provide peace of mind but also ensure the timely arrival of your visa. Remember, the new rules will come into effect from January 2024.
During the application process, you’ll be asked to provide personal information, including passport details, employment status, residential address, and details about your upcoming travel plans and travel history. The EU advises prospective travelers to apply before booking flights or hotels to avoid any inconveniences in case of application denial. The visa fee is approximately $8, and it is somewhat akin to the visa that European tourists obtain when traveling to the U.S., which costs $21. Parents or legal guardians can also apply on behalf of minors.
Accuracy is crucial when filling out your passport details on the application form (name, passport number, etc.), as any incorrect information may lead to denial of entry into a European country. If you realize any mistakes on your form, the fastest solution is to submit another ETIAS application, as it may take up to 30 days to process requests for correcting typos. Additionally, please note that if you make errors in indicating your nationality or passport number, you will be required to pay for another application.
Once you submit your application, expect to receive an email confirmation with your assigned ETIAS number. Make sure to keep this number for future reference throughout your travel preparations.
The majority of applicants can expect to receive approval for their ETIAS visa within a matter of minutes, as stated by the EU. However, in some cases, the processing time may extend to a maximum of four days. ETIAS will notify you about the status of your application.
If additional documentation is required or if you are requested to attend an interview, the processing time may take up to 14 days or 30 days. In the event that your ETIAS visa application is denied, you will have the option to appeal the decision.
Once your application is approved, your ETIAS visa will be valid for a period of three years, allowing you to stay in the country for up to 90 days during each visit.
Arrival at Border
While possessing a valid ETIAS authorization is essential, it doesn’t automatically guarantee your entry to a country. It is crucial to understand that you must still fulfill the entry conditions set by the border police. If, for any reason, you fail to meet these requirements, you may be denied entry into the country despite having an approved ETIAS authorization.