Starting in 2024, US Citizens will be required to purchase a visa for traveling to Europe

As of 2024, US citizens intending to travel to Europe will need to obtain travel authorization using the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), as stated by the European Union.

This significant policy change will impact travelers from the United States and other countries that have previously enjoyed visa-free entry to Schengen Zone countries.

The European Union has mentioned that “American travelers will require ETIAS authorization, which will be verified during the boarding process of their flight.”

According to ABC News, ETIAS is not a conventional visa but rather a visa waiver. Consequently, there is no necessity for an in-person interview at a consulate or embassy, and the entire procedure can be conducted online.

The European Union explained: “An ETIAS travel authorization does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected, and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure. Travelers will be informed within minutes whether they have been approved.”

To apply online, a fee of 7 euros (approximately 8 US dollars) is required for the ETIAS application, and the processing typically takes only a few minutes. Once approved, the ETIAS authorization will be electronically linked to the applicant’s passport.

As reported by The Fresno Bee, once granted, the ETIAS authorization allows for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period, similar to the existing visa-free policy.

This change in policy is part of a broader EU program designed to enhance security within its borders.

ETIAS officials report the system is expected to “improve internal security, prevent illegal immigration, protect public health, and reduce delays at the borders by identifying persons who may pose an irregular migration or security risk.”

Opponents could contend that the added requirement might dissuade US travelers, potentially influencing tourism—an industry on which many European countries heavily depend.