The U.S passport is one of the strongest in the world.  With it, you get visa-free status to over 180 countries in the world, in addition to visa on-arrival for many more.  It is a privilege to have one.  Currently, citizens of the US and most other westerners can visit all 26 Schengen member states for up to 90 days without the need to apply for a visa, granted your passport is valid for at least 6 months.

But this status is soon to change.  The E.U will soon introduce a new requirement for U.S citizens and others. Starting 2021, before your Nice holiday, you will have to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). Not to be confused with the Schengen visa, the ETIAS application will be filled electronically with basic information, including if you have visited any conflict zones. There is also a fee.  According to CNN, the application will run you 7 euros, or about $8.

schengen sign

The great thing is the ETIAS visa will be valid for 5 years, so you don’t have to keep applying every time you go. And the 90-day rule still applies.  Additionally, your application can be denied whenever the E.U deems you a threat.  However, since the U.S makes other citizens jump through hoops, it’s only fair we get to experience the same.

p.s this post is specifically for U.S passport holders, but the ETIAS will also include Canadians, New Zealanders, Aussies, and all those who don’t currently need a Schengen visa.