While European countries are no longer requiring Covid-19 testing, this does not imply a return to spontaneous travel for Americans in the long run.. Before departing for Europe, there will be an additional step to complete.
A US passport is currently sufficient for admission into European countries for periods of less than 90 days. However, that will alter next year. Beginning in spring 2023, American citizens, as well as travelers from 58 other countries, will need an ETIAS visa waiver to visit any Schengen-zone country for a short stay.
Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency stated last month that the ETIAS team would be expanded. According to the announcement, authorizations will begin in May 2023.
What exactly is ETIAS?
The European Commission approved the development of ETIAS as a screening tool to combat terrorism and illegal immigration in late 2016. According to the ETIAS website, the automatic electronic screening measure helps with “identifying security, illegal migration, or significant pandemic threats posed by visa-exempt guests.”
Countries in Europe that require ETIAS certification
Every member country of Europe’s Schengen Zone needs to obtain the new travel permit. There are now 22 EU member countries, four non-EU countries, and four European microstates in this group.
An ETIAS registration will be required to enter Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Trips to the microstates of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City also apply.
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania are not yet Schengen members but are in the process of becoming so. They will also demand travelers to have an ETIAS authorization once they can enter the zone.
Americans can use the ETIAS application
According to the ETIAS website, filling out the ETIAS application online should only take about 10 minutes. Travelers will receive a travel authorization “within minutes” in “the vast majority of cases”. This recommends applying at least 96 hours before departure. An ETIAS travel license is valid for three years. Plus, you can use it for repeated journeys to EU nations once authorized.
Americans aged 18 to 70 require a valid passport, an email account, and a debit or credit card to pay the nonrefundable $8 application cost. Children and teenagers under the age of 18 must complete out an ETIAS application, without having to pay. Seniors over the age of 70 must fill out an ETIAS application, but they will not pay any fees.