Starting in 2024, the European Union will require travelers to get pre-approval via the European Travel Information and Authorization System. The move will put an end to decades of visa-free travel.
Travelers — including U.S. citizens — will be required to submit an ETIAS application for approximately $8/ Applicants will be required to submit their passport, lodging plans, education level, current occupation, criminal history and numerous other pieces of information in order to gain entry.
Officials have stated that the process is generally completed in a matter of minutes, though delays can be expected in some cases. Travelers are advised to submit applications “well in advance.”
Applicants will receive an update within four days, though the process could take anywhere from 14 days to an entire month. If authorized, however, the clearance will last for up to three years, or until the visitor’s passport expires, per the report on NY Post.
“With a valid ETIAS travel authorization, you can enter the territory of these European countries as often as you want for short-term stays — normally for up to 90 days in any 180-day period,” the EU’s website reads. “However, it does not guarantee entry. When you arrive, a border guard will ask to see your passport and other documents and verify that you meet the entry conditions.”
CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg said that “there is nothing to stop” the U.S. from implementing its own visa program. “It won’t be complicated, it’s just an annoyance,” he said. “Most Americans, in fact, all Americans, are not used to doing this to go to Europe so there’s going to be lots of surprises at boarding gates with people being denied boarding over the first couple of weeks if this goes into effect.”