ETIAS Requirements for US Citizens

Is ETIAS required for US citizens?

The United States is one of the visa-free countries for Europe; U.S citizens do not currently need a visa for the Schengen zone to stay a short period up to 90 days. From January 2021 they will, however, need to get a Europe visa waiver to visit the Schengen states for less than 90 days. It is not required to apply before every trip, as ETIAS allows travel to all Schengen member states during its 3-year validity.

American citizens who wish to stay in Europe for a longer time, or reasons other than those allowed with ETIAS, will need to apply for a Schengen visa. The duration of a Schengen visa for Europe is decided on an individual basis, and it may be given as a single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry visa.

Unlike ETIAS, a Schengen visa is given for one particular Schengen country, and applicants need to apply in person from an embassy in the United States of the country they want to travel to. The ETIAS visa waiver is used for countries that are part of the Schengen zone, which means, that American citizens will be able to travel to these countries without requiring any additional visa documents or requirements.

The European Union introduced the ETIAS as a response to the rising number of tourists, the ongoing migration flows, criminal threats and terrorism risks.The ETIAS online application is a well-integrated system that will improve Europe’s external border security while conserving freedom of movement within ETIAS states. Thanks to ETIAS that gathers information on visa-free visitors before their arrival in the European Union, to determine irregularities and security or public-health risks linked to them. ETIAS follows a similar process already existing in the USA and Australia, among others. Every visa-free country, including Americans, arriving at the Schengen external borders will need to hold an ETIAS authorization that is approved.

What are ETIAS Requirements for U.S. citizens?

American citizens over the age of 18 will need to apply online for the ETIAS authorization to travel to any of the Schengen Area. U.S citizens are required to provide personal information on their ETIAS application online such as:

  • Full name
  • Place and date of birth
  •  Sex
  •  Home address
  •  Telephone number and email
  •  Education or current employment information
  •  Passport or travel document information
  • Member State of intended first entry, and
  • Answer ETIAS background and eligibility questions

It is also compulsory to answer some basic security questions to submit the ETIAS authorization application, including about:

  • Criminal history
  •  Employment history
  • Drug use
  • Human trafficking
  • Prior travel to conflict areas
  • Past European travel information

To apply for an ETIAS visa waiver U.S citizens need to:

  • Hold a passport that is machine-readable and valid for 6 months at the point of arrival
  •  A valid email account– your ETIAS permit will be sent through email
  • A valid credit or debit card to pay the ETIAS online application fees
  • Once the ETIAS authorization is approved, it will be valid for three years. American holders of an approved ETIAS can visit any of the Schengen zones for a maximum of 90 days every 180 days.

How long can an American stay in Europe?

At the moment, there is no European visa waiver for Americans for periods of less than 90 days. However, this will change by the end of 2021, when U.S citizens visiting Europe from America will need an ETIAS visa waiver to visit any of the Schengen zone countries for a short period.

The ETIAS visa waiver for U.S citizens is a multiple-entry visit permit valid for a total of 3 years from the time of approval. During the three-year ETIAS validity for American passengers, it is possible to enter any of the Schengen countries which apply to the travel authorization as many times as necessary.

The total period allowed in a Schengen zone with each ETIAS entry is 90 days within every 180 day duration. ETIAS permits visit to Schengen states for short duration for tourism, medical treatment, or transit purposes. To stay for a longer time or other reasons, American citizens need to apply for a Schengen visa from an embassy or consulate.