Gone are the days of spontaneous holidays overseas.

As of this year 2024, the European Union will require visitors to get pre-approval via the European Travel Information and Authorisation System — and that goes for summer jet-setters from the US.

Before securing tickets, lodging, or a reservation at that trendy hotspot you saw on TikTok, vacationers must submit an ETIAS application for approximately $8.

Applicants must provide travel documentation, such as a passport, as well as personal information, education level, current occupation, anticipated trip details, and any criminal convictions.

While most applications are processed within minutes, some take longer to yield a decision and the European Union advises visitors to apply “well in advance.”

A response is promised within four days but could be extended by 14 to 30 days depending on the circumstance.

However, once the authorization is secured, it is valid for up to three years or until the visitor’s passport expires.

European vacationers will need to take the extra step before cementing their itineraries. (Shutterstock)
Travellers from the US will need to secure authorization from the European Union before heading overseas. ( Star Tribune via Getty Images)

“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 days,” 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.”

The travel authorization is only necessary to enter 30 European countries, including Spain, Germany, France, and Greece — sorry, “Mama Mia!” fans.

While the plan is expected to roll out this year, experts are uncertain it will happen. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Travellers must be approved before travelling to 30 European countries.( Schengen Visa Info)


While the requirement was announced as going into effect in January 2024, experts doubt it will be implemented then, having already hit multiple delays.

CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg said that “there is nothing to stop” the US from implementing its own visa charge and application process.

“It won’t be complicated, it’s just an annoyance,” he said, per CBS News. “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.”


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