According to the New York Post, Americans traveling to the continent will need to secure a pre-approval via the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) that comes with an $8 fee. Potential travelers will need to provide passports, anticipated trip details and other travel documentation. Personal information, education level, current occupation and any criminal convictions are to be disclosed likewise.
"While most applications are processed within minutes, some take longer to yield a decision," the Post said. Thus, the EU advises visitors to apply "well in advance" before securing tickets, lodging or a reservation at tourist spots.
A response from ETIAS is promised within four days, but could be extended by 14 to 30 days depending on the circumstance. Once the authorization is secured, it is valid for up to three years or until the expiration of the visitor's passport.
Thirty EU member states – including Spain, Germany, France and Greece – require ETIAS authorization before travelers can enter their nations. According to the EU's website, travelers with a valid authorization can fly to the 30 countries as often as they want "for short-term stays, normally for up to 90 days in any 180-day period." (Related: Singapore now has the most powerful passport in the world – signifying the tiny nation’s healthy foreign relations and strong economy.)
"However, [the ETIAS authorization] does not guarantee entry. When you arrive, a border guard will ask to see your passport and other documents and verify that you meet the entry conditions."
The Post remarked: "While the requirement was announced as going into effect in January 2024, experts doubt it will actually be implemented then, having already hit multiple delays." Originally intended to be launched in early February 2022, its launch date was pushed back multiple times. The January 2024 rollout of ETIAS followed the fourth delay that began in late February.
It is interesting to note that British nationals who are beneficiaries of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement are exempted from the ETIAS requirement. The EU noted that "they may reside on the territory of their EU host country and travel to other European countries requiring ETIAS, as long as they hold documents proving their status."
Regular Britons, just like Americans, "are required to have a valid ETIAS travel authorization if they travel to any of the European countries requiring ETIAS for a short-term stay." Those who wish to stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period "must meet the entry requirements in accordance with national or EU migration law, such as holding a visa or residence permit."
Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News, put in his two cents on the matter. According to him, U.S. airlines would face the pressure of making sure no passengers without approved visa board planes to the EU.
Greenberg warned that if the EU institutes ETIAS, "there is nothing to stop the Americans from instituting a visa charge for them to come into the United States. It doesn't prove anything other than more paperwork and more revenue that goes nowhere."
"It won't be complicated, it's just an annoyance. Most Americans – in fact, all Americans – are not used to doing this to go to Europe. So there's going to be lots of surprises at boarding gates, with people being denied boarding over the first couple of weeks if this goes into effect."
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Watch this video explaining how the H-1B visa issued at home is designed to replace American tech workers.
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