New travel requirements for Americans heading to Europe delayed until 2025

travel in europe for us citizens

Americans planning to visit European destinations had been preparing for new travel requirements that were expected to take effect in 2024. However, EU officials have recently announced that the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be postponed until the spring of 2025.

According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, an EU official confirmed that the delay is due to ongoing issues with the implementation of the related Entry-Exit System (EES), which needs to be operational before ETIAS can be introduced. While the official did not provide further details, this news brings relief to US passport holders who were anticipating the upcoming changes.

What you need to know about ETIAS for US travelers

If you have previously traveled to Europe without a visa, it is important to note that you will now be required to obtain authorization through the ETIAS system before your visit. Currently, American travelers enjoy visa-free access to 184 destinations worldwide, as reported by the Henley Passport Index. However, the introduction of ETIAS could potentially impact the ranking of the US passport as one of the most powerful passports to possess.

The application process for ETIAS will involve completing a form, which will be available on the official ETIAS website and a mobile application. A fee of 7 euros or $7.79 US dollars will be charged for the application, and all communication regarding the process will be done via email.

Once granted travel authorization, visitors will be permitted to stay in European countries that require ETIAS for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. It is essential to have a valid ETIAS document throughout the entire duration of your stay.

ETIAS aims to process most applications within minutes, although some may take longer. In such cases, decisions will be communicated within four days, or up to 14 days if additional documentation is required. The European Union advises travelers to apply for ETIAS well in advance of their planned journey to avoid any last-minute complications.

Upon submission of the application, applicants will receive a confirmation email with a unique reference number, which should be kept for future reference. It is crucial to ensure that all the information provided, including name and passport number, is accurate. Any mistakes could potentially hinder entry into the European countries that require ETIAS.

In the event that an application is refused, the rejection email will provide the reasons for the decision, along with information on how to appeal.

ETIAS travel authorization is valid for three years, or until the expiration of the travel document used in the application, whichever comes first, as stated by the EU. It is important to note that the ETIAS authorization is tied to the traveler’s specific travel document, such as their US passport. Both the ETIAS document and the travel document will be required for boarding flights, buses, or ships to enter European countries that have implemented ETIAS.

Similar to the current passport requirements at international borders, the ETIAS authorization does not guarantee automatic entry. Border guards will conduct checks to ensure that travelers meet the entry conditions. Those who fail to meet the requirements will be denied entry, as per the EU regulations.

For further information on the ETIAS process, please visit the European Union’s official website.

Please note that this article was originally published on July 21, 2023.

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