A little extra step before visiting parts of Europe in 2021

Starting in January 2021, US Citizens will have to complete an online application before visiting 26 countries in Europe's Schengen area. These countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The main reason for this authorization is security. The EU wants to ensure a safe travel in its countries. President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker has said the following: "We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way we will know who is travelling to Europe before they even get here."

The new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a completely electronic system which allows and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone (such as US citizens).

The ETIAS will review each application, and perform a detailed security check of each applicant to determine whether they can be allowed to enter any Schengen Zone country. This system, besides being used for business and tourist purposes, will also allow people to visit the Schengen countries for medical and transit reasons.

The online application shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete, and automatic approval will occur in 95 percent of cases, says the ETIAS. You need only your passport to complete the application, and currently, then pay 7 euros for applicants between the ages of 18 to 70. This authorization will be good for 3 years.

Best of all, the ETIAS is meant to save travelers time and secure European Union borders from security risks. Consult us at Outside the Lines Travel to learn more about traveling to Europe!


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