The system mirrors the US's Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which has required foreign visitors who don't need a USA visa to register online since 2009.
The European Union announced Friday that Americans traveling to Europe must have a visa starting in 2021.
This is inclusive of countries like Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy along with France and Poland.
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To apply for ETIAS, US citizens will only need a valid passport, an email account, and a credit or debit card, the European Union said. Minors, the website said, will still only need their normal passports to travel after the visas go into effect. You won't need to re-apply each time you decide to visit Europe during those three years.
According to the ETIAS website, the European Union made a decision to implement improved security measures with relation to foreigners traveling in and out of the country.
The European Parliament previously called on the European Commission to impose visas on USA citizens as part of an ongoing dispute over travel restrictions to Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus, the only EU nations that require a visa from visiting us citizens.
About 61% of U.S. travelers to Europe in 2017 headed to France, Italy, Germany and Spain, all of which will be covered by the visa rule. Passports must be valid for three months beyond the period of an individual's intended stay.
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Despite the confusion surrounding the word "visa", the reality is that signing up for the ETIAS authorization application is not the same as applying for a visa. The EU have been pushing for visa-free travel for all their citizens for a few years, but so far these calls have fallen on death ears. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.
ETIAS is a border control system created by the European Commission, which works to secure borders around the EU.
The online application will include submitting information on your passport, background and personal data and paying a €7 fee (for travellers between 18 and 70 years old), or $7.87 United States dollars.
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