March 11, 2019
Traveling to Europe in 2021 won't be as simple as just having a passport and booking a ticket anymore.
Twenty-six countries — including, but not exclusively, countries in the European Union — will now require Americans and people from 60 other "visa-free" countries to complete a European Travel Information and Authorisation System application. It will cost €7 (about $8) and be valid for three years.
This 2018-approved application is only for visa-free citizens and is just another added security measure. There's a big emphasis being placed on this not being a visa program, but a pre-travel screening. According to information from the European Commission, these applications will be fast, and in 95 percent of cases, can be completed within minutes as they will apparently ask for significantly less information than a visa application requires.
These applications will be mandatory starting in 2021.
The 26 countries are being grouped together as the Schengen Area, named after a 1985 travel treaty that made it easy for them to make short-term trips among these nations.
Here's the full list of countries.
This application is similar to an existing application the U.S. uses for visa-free travelers from 38 countries that must be completed before arrival and costs $14.