Those carefree days of jumping on a plane for Paris with nothing more than a suitcase and your passport will soon be over.
Starting in 2021, most European Union countries will begin implementing a new travel visa as a requirement for U.S. citizens and citizens from 59 other countries to enter, NBC Bay Area is reporting. The European Travel Information and Authorization System’s (ETIAS) website, which offers full details about traveling to Europe, cited concerns over illegal migration and terrorism as the reasons for the increased security measures.
Here’s what you should know:
What’s the current status?
Currently, Americans traveling to Europe for fewer than 90 days don’t need a visa.
What’s the new policy?
Beginning Jan. 21, 2021, according to the report, all Americans wishing to travel to a European Schengen-zone country will need ETIAS authorization. Countries affected include France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, among others.
What about kids?
The new rule includes minors.
What exactly is a visa?
A visa is an endorsement that’s placed inside of a passport and grants the holder official permission to enter, leave or stay in a country for a specified time period.
How can I get a visa?
You’ll need a valid passport, credit or debit card and an email account.
How long is it good for?
The visa for Europe will be valid for three years and is “multi-entry.”
What does that mean?
That means you don’t need to apply every time you want to visit one of the affected countries.
How much will a visa cost?
An ETIAS visa should be “affordable, simple and fast,” with an estimated one-time cost of about $8, according to a news release from the European Commission.
How long will it take to complete the visa application?
“Completing the online application should not take more than 10 minutes with automatic approval being given in over 95% of cases,” the release said. The report said the application process will also include answering some basic security questions.