American citizens visiting most of the countries of Europe will need authorization from the European Union starting in 2021, according to a CNN report.
The EU has planned to create a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) that will require “pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travelers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area.”
The Schengen Area is a zone comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. These countries, such as Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland, allow people to move between them freely.
American citizens currently can travel to Europe for up to 3 months without any sort of travel authorization or visa but following ETIAS this will not be possible.
American travelers to Europe will need to apply for ETIAS authorization before visiting the Schengen Area.
“Completing the online application should not take more than 10 minutes with automatic approval being given in over 95% of cases,” the European Commission said in a statement.
America’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is also similar to ETIAS.
A US State Department official said in a statement, “We are aware of the European Union’s plan to implement its own travel information and authorization system, similar to the US ESTA, to contribute to a more efficient management of the EU’s external borders and improve internal security.”
“Each country has the right to determine its standards for entry,” the official added. The European Parliament approved to establish ETIAS in July last year.