ETIAS Visa Waiver for US Citizens
US Citizens will soon be required to
apply for an ETIAS
(European Travel Information and Authorisation System) if they are travelling to Europe. The
waiver system will be introduced by the end of 2022, after which, travellers from visa waiver
countries will need to have an ETIAS to enter the Schengen Zone borders.
The ETIAS system will help to improve security from terrorism threats and illegal immigration.
For US citizens planning a holiday or business to any of the countries
in the Schengen Zone, they must apply for the ETIAS before they travel.
The Schengen Zone includes 22 European countries and 3 non-EU countries
(Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
The current situation for American citizens travelling to Europe is that there
is no visa waiver in place, but they are able to visit Europe for short term trips
of up to 90 days without a visa, as long as the trip is for tourism or business
purposes. From the end of 2022, US citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS
for these types of visits to Europe, although several EU countries also have a
visa waiver bilateral agreement with the US that allows a longer stay than the 90-day Schengen limit.