US citizens will need a visa to travel to Europe in 2024

Long gone are the days of spontaneous holidays overseas.

Beginning in 2024, Europe will require European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) travel authorization for visitors — including summer jet-setters from the US.

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

Applicants will need to provide travel documentation, such as a passport, as well as personal information, education levels, current occupations, anticipated trip details and 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.

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

Woman overlooking Italy
European vacationers will need to take the extra step before cementing their itineraries.

Passports laying on world map
While the plan is expected to roll out next year, experts are uncertain it will actually happen.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“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.”

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

While the requirement is expected to go into effect in January 2024, experts are doubtful it will be implemented then as it has already experienced multiple delays.

ETIAS check list
Travelers must be approved before traveling to 30 European countries.
Schengen Visa Info

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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