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March 11, 2019

Traveling to Europe in 2021 will get a little more complicated

The new process will require an application — but don't worry, it's not a visa

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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.

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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.

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary 
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

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.

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