The EU announced last year it was creating a European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS, that will require “pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travelers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area.
The Schengen Area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland.
US citizens visiting parts of Europe will need authorization from the European Union come 2021.
Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for up to 90 days without any sort of travel authorization. ETIAS will change that.
Visa-free travelers, including US citizens, will need to request ETIAS authorization before visiting the Schengen Area. They can complete an application and pay a service fee of 7 euro’s (about $8) on-line. The authorization is valid for three years.
“Completing the on-line 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.
The European Parliament agreed to establish ETIAS in July. At the time, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, indicated that the requirement was put in place for security reasons.
CNN / ABC Flash Point News 2019.