The European Union announced on March 8 that Americans who want to travel to any of the countries included in the Schengen zone will need to first get a permit. There are a total of 22 countries located within the Schengen zone that are considered to be part of the European Union.
A short list of some of the more popular European countries located within this area includes France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Greece.
The actual permit is called an ETIAS permit, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. While the new travel permit allows travelers to visit any of the country’s, they can only do so for a period of 90 days or less at a time.
Once an American applies for the authorization, it’s good for 3 years and they can travel as much as they want during this 3 year time period. Once approved, they can enter and exit any of the countries within the zone without having to go through passport checks. They may need to still show their identification when crossing a border.
The new requirements won’t start until 2021. In order to apply, you must have a valid passport, a valid email address and a credit or debit card. You’ll also need to answer some basic security questions. If you are denied for any reason, you can request information on the reason why, potentially allowing to reapply.
The majority of travelers who travel through Europe do so for only a week or two at a time. Others will plan a European vacation that lasts a month or two. Either way, this shouldn’t affect the way you travel and instead it should make it easier to travel within the Schengen zone.
The reason for the permit is understandable. All of the terrorism problems happening in Europe, as well as the illegal immigration problems in Europe that have been a problem in recent years, has made it so that Europe has decided to increase their security level.