No More Visa Waiver to Europe: The European Union Will Require Travel Authorization

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A new European Union (EU) provision will require international travelers to present a travel authorization to enter the union countries.

According to the official portal of this body, the rules for traveling to most European countries will change by mid-2025.

This will apply to those traveling to Europe from the 61 countries and two regions that are currently exempt from a visa, including Americans, for short stays in more than 30 of its countries.

Currently, the policy allows entry into the so-called Schengen Area for up to 90 days usually without the need for a visa, but that agreement will be modified.

A bill in process will update the mechanisms “to address situations where visa exemption is abused,” the EU reported.

It is valid to note that this applies not only to travelers from the United States but also to various Latin American countries that enjoy this privilege.

What would be the travel authorization?

The travel update is called ETIAS, and applications for it are not yet being collected.

ETIAS will be linked to the traveler’s passport with validity for three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. In case of obtaining a new passport, ETIAS must be requested again.

The EU indicates that with the travel authorization, “you can enter the territory of these European countries as often as you wish for short stays, usually up to 90 days in any period of 180 days.

Despite this, it informs that it would not guarantee entry, as the passport and other documents that must be in order to enter the chosen destination would also be reviewed at the borders.

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How to apply and how long does it take?

When the EU indicates that it can be requested, you must complete your application form through the official ETIAS website or its ETIAS mobile application.

The document will have a value of 7 EUR, but those under 18 years of age or over 70, as well as family members of EU citizens or nationals of third countries who have the right to move freely within the European Union, will be exempt from payment.

Applications for minors under 18 years of age must be submitted by those exercising parental authority or legal guardianship, whether permanent or temporary.

If you are of legal age, someone else could send the application on your behalf as long as that person provides personal and contact information and confirms that they have signed the declaration of representation.

For this process, you must have a valid travel document, which does not expire in three months and is not more than 10 years old, to which a visa can be attached.

Almost all ETIAS will be processed in minutes, but it could also take up to 4 days if the traveler does not provide all the required information.

If, in another case, additional information or other documents are requested, it could take up to 14 days or up to 30 if called for an interview.

Keep in mind that these details will be requested from you:

  • Name(s), surname, date and place of birth, nationality, address, parent’s names, email address, and phone number
  • Details of the travel document
  • Level of education and current occupation
  • Details about your planned trip and stay in any of the countries that require ETIAS
  • Other details about criminal convictions, previous travels to war or conflict zones, and if you have been required to leave the territory of any country recently.

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Yanelis Barrientos Fernández

Formada en Comunicación Social en la Universidad de La Habana; posteriormente, me sumergí en el fascinante mundo digital, especializándome en Periodismo Digital