Americans will need visa to visit Europe starting 2021

On Friday the European Union announced that travelers from the United States will need a new type of travel document to visit the European Schengen Area

On Friday the European Union announced that travelers from the United States will need a new type of travel document to visit the European Schengen Area

On Jan. 1 that year, 22 nations in the European Union - among them Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany and France - will begin screening travelers, including Americans, under the European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS.

The new policy applies to 26 countries in the Schengen zone of Europe.

- Traveling to Europe will become more complicated for Americans beginning in 2021.

Passengers wait in line to use the Automated Passport Control Kiosks set up for worldwide travelers arriving at Miami global Airport in Miami, Florida, on March 4, 2015.

"Finally, it is also useful to remember that all US citizens are required to obtain an ETIAS visa to travel to Europe, all minors are able to travel with their normal passport and do have to apply for an ETIAS to enter the Schengen area too".

To obtain an ETIAS, Americans will need to have a valid passport, a credit or debit card and an email account.

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An ETIAS visa, which is good for three years, enables Americans to enter the bloc as often as they like.

A girl holds up a passport at the airport in Tallinn minutes before proceedings marked the entry of Estonia into the Schengen borderless zone on December 20, 2007.

According to the ETIAS website, the European Union imposed the rules to "improve their security level" over issues of 'illegal migration and terrorism'.

An ETIAS is only necessary when traveling to the Schengen area and Americans will not need one when traveling to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Cyprus. It is replacing visa-free travel for most countries that now have such an arrangement with the EU. Minors must also apply for the visa.

In June 2018, the Parliament voted in favor of the Commission imposing visas on US citizens.

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