US citizens traveling to Europe will shortly need to apply for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) visa which is the new travel visa to visit Europe that will come into effect from 2020. Similar to other countries and regions in the world Europe has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism. This means that from 2020, all Americans traveling to a European Schengen-zone country will be in need of an ETIAS.
What do Americans need to go to Europe?
To obtain the Europe Visa for Americans, US citizens will need to have a valid passport, a credit or debit card and an email account. These are the main ETIAS requirements for US citizens which each applicant must have on hand when applying. Without the right travel document the applicant could be denied access.
When enrolling in the ETIAS database which is the same as applying for the Europe visa, the passport used must be valid for 3 months beyond the period of intended stay of each person and it is possible that passports over 10 years old may not be accepted as a valid travel document.
At the moment there is no EU visa for US citizens for periods of less than 90 days. This will change however from 2020, when those American citizens traveling to Europe from US will require an ETIAS visa valid for 5 years.
Throughout these 5 years of validity of the ETIAS visa for USA travelers, it is possible to enter any of the Schengen zone European countries which apply to this visa as many times as necessary. The ETIAS visa for Americans is a multiple-entry visa with few restrictions in order to promote tourism while maintaining a high level of international security.
The ETIAS visa for Europe must be paid in advance through the secure online payment via credit or debit card when applying with the traveler’s contact information and passport details. These details include the physical address of permanent residency, a phone number and contact email address which will be necessary to receive the ETIAS confirmation email.
How can Americans apply for ETIAS to visit Europe?
It’s simple, US citizens can apply online for an ETIAS by completing an online ETIAS registration. The enrollment will be a quick and simple process, similar to the ESTA for eligible citizens traveling to the US. Applicants will need to fill out an online form with their contact details and passport information as well as answer some basic security questions.
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.
The ETIAS payment is also super quick and easy to do with a credit or debit card through the secure online payment platform. The price for the Europe visa for US citizens is 5€.
Once the visa for Europe has been paid, the process is complete and the applicant will need to wait to receive the confirmation for the ETIAS visa via e-mail. With the approved ETIAS visa, the applicant is ready to travel!
Traveling to Europe from US with ETIAS
At the moment there are no visas for US citizens traveling to Europe for short-stays for tourism or visiting relatives due to the agreements between the two world powers but from 2020, traveling to Europe from US will require an ETIAS visa in order to gain entry to the Schengen area.
There will also be other regulations and restrictions to bear in mind when traveling to Europe from the US which are similar to those in place at the moment, such as the right to carry weapons, importing and exporting large quantities of tobacco, alcohol or perfume and declaring large amounts of currency.
Finally, it is also useful to remember that only US citizens of 18 years and over are required to obtain an ETIAS visa to travel to Europe, all minors are able to travel with their normal passport and do not have to pay the 5€ fee to enter the Schengen area.
From 2020 the ETIAS will be a legal obligation for all US citizens traveling to Europe for short-stay visits so it is essential to be prepared!