New rules coming for travel to Europe in 2024. Here’s what you need to know


Pining for a glass of cabernet along the Champs-Élysées next year, or are you eager to run with the bulls in Spain or yodel in the Alps?

You’ll need some extra documentation as a result of updated rules for short-term visitors beginning in 2024 across most European countries.

Currently, Americans with passports are typically free to travel across much of Europe.

In July, the European Union announced a new European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS, that affects residents of the U.S. and more than 60 other countries who are planning a trip of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

“At this time, a date of when this requirement will go into effect has yet to be determined but is expected to be announced before the end of the year,” AAA spokeswoman Molly Hart said Wednesday.

“The EU is not accepting applications at this time; however, it is strongly advised that travelers become familiar with the process and include it as part of their preparation for any European travel,” Hart said.

The policy applies to 30 European nations including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.



Most online applications are processed quickly, according to the ETIAS website, although it could take up to 14 days if more documentation is required or up to 30 days if an interview is needed.

“We recommend applying for an ETIAS travel authorization well in advance, before booking any travel,” Hart said.

“Make sure passport details correspond to those in the ETIAS authorization — entry will be refused if they do not match.”

The cost is 7 euros, or about $7.50 in American dollars as of Wednesday. Children through 17 years of age and seniors over 70 do not have to pay a fee.

Although nicknamed a visa, the official name is a “travel authorization,” the ETIAS said. Visas are issued for other situations such as for a student who attends college in Europe for an extended time.

The authorization does not guarantee entry to another country, and border authorities will continue to inspect travelers’ passports.

The change is intended to increase security and also identify “irregular migration or high epidemic risks,” European Union officials said.


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