Many people dream of exploring the historic landmarks, rich cultures, and stunning landscapes that Europe has to offer. However, a significant change is on the horizon that will impact how New Yorkers and millions of other Americans travel to the Schengen area of Europe.

The Schengen area of Europe is comprised of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Starting in 2025, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will mandate travelers from visa-exempt countries, including the United States, to apply for a visa and pay a small fee before embarking on their European journey.

The ETIAS authorization is not a full visa but serves as a pre-screening process aimed at ensuring that travelers do not pose any security risks.

The new visa system will allow qualified individuals to stay in participating European countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, with considerations for single or multiple-entry permits based on the traveler's itinerary.

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Purpose of ETIAS

The purpose of implementing the ETIAS system is to identify security threats, irregular migration patterns, and high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors. By conducting pre-screening security checks, ETIAS aims to enhance security and minimize the likelihood of security incidents.

ETIAS Authorization for U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens traveling to Europe need to understand that the ETIAS authorization is applicable for short-term stays of 90 days or less. It is not a work visa and is linked to the traveler's passport. In case of a lost passport, a new ETIAS travel authorization will be required.

Who Needs ETIAS Authorization?

Travelers who are not European Union nationals and citizens of countries, including the U.S., that currently do not require a visa for short-term stays in a European Union country, will need to obtain an ETIAS authorization. Additionally, individuals without a residence permit or card from European countries requiring ETIAS will also need the authorization.

Application Process

U.S. citizens traveling to Europe can apply for the ETIAS authorization on the official ETIAS website once the application section becomes operational. To receive updates and stay informed about the process, travelers can sign up for email notifications on the website.

Exemption and Fees

While the standard cost of an ETIAS application is just over $7.00, exceptions are made for travelers under 18 or over 70, who are eligible for a fee waiver. It's important to note that the ETIAS authorization remains valid for three years, allowing travelers to visit participating countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Americans Advised to NOT Travel to These 19 Destinations

Americans Advised to Avoid These 19 Destinations The United States Department of State has four levels of advisories: exercise normal precautions, exercise increased caution, reconsider travel, and do not travel. Currently, 19 destinations fall under a Level 4: DO NOT TRAVEL advisory, so plan your travels accordingly.

Travel Warnings for US Citizens in 2024

"Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable). Keep original documents in a secure location." -

Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby

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