US Citizens Will Soon Need a New Travel Registration To Enter Europe

Mar 8, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Visiting Europe is essentially frictionless for US citizens — but beginning in 2021, the process will become a little more demanding. That’s when visitors from the United States, along with dozens of other nations, will be required to complete an online application for something called an ETIAS, from “European Travel Information and Authorization System.” It’s essentially the reciprocal of the ESTA authorization required of EU nationals visiting the US: Not strictly a visa, but a registration.

Once it is implemented, visitors from 60 countries will be eligible to apply for ETIAS online. The system will serve as a pre-screen for travelers entering from visa-waiver countries, and anyone from one of those countries will need to have a valid ETIAS authorization and passport when arriving at any EU member country’s borders.

santorini-greece-white-buildings-ocean
A 10 minute online pre-screen shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for those seeking Santorini views (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

ETIAS will not require formal interviews, nor any of the rigmarole involved when visiting a nation that requires an actual visa, like for example China. Estimates are that you’ll be able to wrap up the online submission in around 10 minutes, providing your personal details, passport information, date of birth, country of residence and answering a few questions related to criminal history and travel to conflict zones. Approval (or refusal) will be sent via email.

ETIAS will cost 7 euros, or about $7.85 at current rates, and will apply to travelers between 18 and 70 years old. Once obtained, it will “allow its holder to stay in 26 different countries in Europe for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period and it is valid for 3 years from the date of issuance or until the expiry date of the passport, whichever comes first,” according to the ETIAS site.

ETIAS does not apply to the United Kingdom, which is not one of the countries in the Schengen area — the group of European Union nations allowing no-controls travel among them. The UK is weeks away from possibly leaving the European Union without a negotiated exit agreement, the so-called “no deal Brexit” that might result in serious disruptions to travel.

Featured image by Lisa Weatherbee/The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.