How travel to the EU is about to change for US citizen

Information on how to ensure you are correctly preparing for your trip to the EU as early as 2024.


Emily Kaplan

6/14/20232 min read

photography of brown Eiffel Tower at Paris
photography of brown Eiffel Tower at Paris

US Citizens have (mostly) been able to visit European Union countries quite effortlessly. Not having to worry about any form of visa or travel authorization. However, as of 2024 - that is going to change with the introduction of The European Travel Information and Authorisation Systems, or ETIAS.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS is an electronic travel authorization that will be required for US citizens traveling to the Schengen Area in the EU starting in 2024 (exact date still TBD). The system is designed to enhance security and prevent illegal immigration by conducting pre-travel screening for travelers. The application process is expected to be simple and inexpensive, with a fee of 7 euros (roughly $7.60 USD as of time of writing this post). It is important for US citizens planning travel to Europe to be aware of this new requirement and to plan accordingly. Failure to obtain an ETIAS could result in denied entry or even deportation.

How do I apply?

Luckily, as mentioned. It is fairly simple. Follow these steps:

  • Visit the official ETIAS website and click on the "Apply" button. Be careful not to use a fake website or a website that will charge you extra to do the process for you. It is super simple to apply so go to the official website and follow the process. I have linked it above.

  • Fill out the online application form with personal information, travel plans, and security questions.

  • Pay the application fee using a valid credit or debit card.

  • Wait for the application to be processed, which can take up to 96 hours.

  • Once approved, the ETIAS authorization will be sent to the email provided during the application process.

  • Print out the ETIAS authorization to present at border control when entering any of the Schengen Area countries.

It is very important to apply for ETIAS at least three days before the intended travel to ensure that the authorization is approved and received in time.

What documents do I need to gather in order to apply for my ETIAS?
  • Your passport is the only REQUIRED document you will need

  • You may also need a digital photograph of you (a closeup similar to a passport style photo) that is not attached to your passport.

Do I need to apply every time I go to the EU?

So, that depends. Your ETIAS lasts for 3 years, so after you use your ETIAS for your initial trip, if you do not travel to the EU again in that timeframe - then, yes. Otherwise your ETIAS will last you during all your visits for a 3 year period as it is a multi-use authorization.

Unsure if you will need an ETIAS for your upcoming trip to the EU or if the country you are visiting is part of the EU? Work with a trusted travel advisor so you can feel confident going into any upcoming trip. Travel advisors stay up to date on all travel related changes for you. Please reach out if you'd like to plan your perfect trip to the EU without having to worry about all the bureaucratic & confusing details!