New travel law in 2021!
Be aware of the new travel law in 2021 – starting in January! The European Union has created a new system called European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS. This new system will require a pre-travel screening of travelers to enter the Schengen Area.
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Why is The Process Changing?
First of all, with consistent terrorism threats, the EU has decided to implement a travel authorization program to strengthen and protect its borders. As a result, by having people register, the EU will be able to identify any possible threats ahead of time.
The Schengen Area
The Schengen Area currently consists of 22 countries. Also included are four non-EU countries and three European micro-states that make up the Schengen Area. So, what exactly is a Schengen area? It is European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move freely between them.
Consequently, you will need to register starting in 2021 to enter:
- Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
- In addition, the micro-states of San Marino, Vatican City, and Monaco will also require registering.
- Also, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus aren’t currently Schengen countries, but they are in the process of joining and therefore will be subject to the same requirements.
Most noteworthy, there are other countries that will not require ETIAS. They are:
- Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
US citizens can currently travel to Europe for up to 90 days on their US passports without any sort of travel authorization. ETIAS will definitely change that in January 2021. You will need to request ETIAS authorization before visiting the Schengen Area.
The Application for New Travel Law in 2021
Your ETIAS application if approved will be valid for three years. The cost is €7,00 or about $8.00 online. The online application is supposed to be straight forward and takes approximately 10-minutes to complete. Per the European Commission, they said that approval is given in over 95% of the time. It has been made clear in their released information that this authorization is not to be considered a visa.
Here is a great link for additional official information:
Who is Affected?
The United States isn’t the only country affected by these changes. Sixty countries will be required to apply for the ETIAS before entering a Schengen Area as a result of this new law. Such countries include Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and Israel.
Will I Need to Reapply For Each Visit?
In conclusion, after the initial application, ETIAS will be valid for three years — or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You will not need to reapply for each visit. ETIAS is valid for short-term stays of up to 90-days for both leisure and business travelers.
Especially relevant is the fact that this new law doesn’t pertain to those who want to work or students who want to study in Europe due to the fact they must apply for a proper visa. That is entirely a different process.