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You’ll Need Authorization To Travel To Europe In 2021

By DeAnna Taylor

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For years, Europe has been one of the most accessible destinations for Americans. This ease has primarily been due to the fact that visas were not required for entry. However, that will change slightly.

Last year, the European Union created a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) that will require “pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travellers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area.”

The Schengen area is the 26 countries on the continent that include Spain, Greece, Italy, and France.

Related: These European Cities Should Be On Your 2019 Travel Bucket List

Beginning in 2021, visa-free travelers (including Americans), will need to sign up for the ETIAS authorization before heading to any of the listed countries. Visitors will be able to complete their application online instantly with a service fee of $8. This authorization will last for three years and will also allow multiple entries.

“Completing the online application should not take more than 10 minutes with automatic approval being given in over 95% of cases,” the European Commission said in a statement.


“We are aware of the European Union’s plan to implement its own travel information and authorization system, similar to the U.S. ESTA, to contribute to a more efficient management of the EU’s external borders and improve internal security,” a US State Department official said in a statement. “Each country has the right to determine its standards for entry.”

It should be noted that this is not an actual visa application, but rather an approval under the ETIAS system. America currently has a similar system in place.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, indicated that the requirement was put in place for security reasons.
“The new ETIAS will ensure that we no longer have an information gap on visa-free travelers,” he said in a statement. “Anyone who poses a migratory or security risk will be identified before they even travel to EU borders.”
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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

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