UPDATED September 28, 2023: The media shared that the ETIAS authorization program, as discussed by some European Union ministers, won’t be put into action until 2025.
Attention all travelers! Planning a trip to Europe in 2025? U.S. passport holders will soon be required to have ETIAS authorization to travel.
If you have visited Europe visa-free before, you must apply for authorization through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) before your next visit. This program is scheduled to be implemented in May of 2025. It aims to identify security risks, migration issues, and health concerns for visa-exempt visitors.
Is EITAS a Travel Visa?
No. The EITAS is not a travel visa. This is a travel authorization for people who don’t need a visa to go visit Europe. This program mirrors the United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
ETIAS Requirements and Purpose
The main goal of ETIAS is to improve security and track visa-free travelers. For example, Americans currently don’t need a travel visa for short trips to Europe. But, they will have to pay a small fee and apply for the travel authorization.
But, there’s an important catch! Before applying for ETIAS, your passport has to be up-to-date. First, you will need to check your passport expiration date. Then, you will want to check the validity requirements for your travel destination. ETIAS is directly linked to your passport, so you will not be able to travel without both documents.
Which Countries Require ETIAS Authorization?
Around 30 European countries, part of the Schengen area, will ask for ETIAS authorization from visitors. So, when visiting these countries, don’t forget to carry your passport, ETIAS papers, and any other necessary documents. This way, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free entry.
Countries Requiring ETIAS Authorization as of 2025
|Northern Europe||Southern Europe||Western Europe||Eastern Europe|
* The U.N. considers Cyprus to be not in Europe but in Western Asia.
Key Information for American Citizens
For short trips under 90 days, Americans must have ETIAS authorization. But remember, this is not a work visa. And it’s connected to your passport. As a result, if you renew your passport, you’ll need to get a new ETIAS as well.
Who Needs an ETIAS Authorization?
You will need to apply for an ETIAS authorization if you:
- Are not from the European Union.
- Are from a country, like the U.S., that has travel visa-free access to European Union countries for short stays.
- Do not have a residence permit or card issued by any European country requiring ETIAS.
Remember, it’s important to check for any exemptions to the ETIAS requirement before applying.
How to Apply for ETIAS
Once the system starts, American citizens can apply for the ETIAS authorization on the official website. Until then, interested travelers can sign up for email notifications to stay updated on the process.
Cost of an ETIAS Travel Authorization
The ETIAS authorization will be valid for three years. Travelers will be able to stay in participating countries for up to 90 days. This is true within any 180-day period. It is needed to ensure that your ETIAS authorization is valid for your whole stay in Europe.
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