Americans Will Need Visas to Visit Europe in 2021

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Americans Will Need Visas to Visit Europe in 2021

Americans Will Need Visas to Visit Europe in 2021

Update: Is this a Visa? We think it is a de-facto Visa even if the EU is trying to call it something else. We also don’t have an issue with it. More on our thoughts here.

US citizens traveling to Europe will soon need to apply for a visa. The new system called ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) will be required for travel  to Europe starting from 2021. Similar to other countries and regions in the world Europe has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism.

At the moment, Americans traveling to Europe for less than 90 days don’t need any sort of visa.

The new ETIAS visa will be valid for three years and Americans won’t have to apply every time they want to visit. It will be valid for multiple entries in the 22 countries in the Schengen Zone. If you’re visiting the U.K., you will not need to apply for this visa.

UPDATE: The EU is claiming that this should not be considered a Visa.


  1. It is NOT opinion. You have alternative facts. The EU authorisation program is very clear as to what it is and is not. These are important legal distinctions, even if you do not appreciate them. Yes, it is technically close to a visa, but characterizing it as such is just factually incorrect. FYI, you were in good company. CNN made the same mistake, but owned up to it. Note:
    “Correction: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) as a visa. It is an authorization system. “

    • Which by definition is a Visa. Its just semantics. I’m glad everyone gets to share their opinion and I’m willing to be seen as wrong. I’m glad the readers have this information.

      • Many people do indeed use the word “visa” to describe the travel authorization granted under these programs. For most purposes, this usage is harmless. But it’s not technically correct. This is from the US government’s ESTA web site (

        “An approved travel authorization is not a visa. It does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve in lieu of a United States visa when a visa is required under United States law. Individuals who possess a valid visa will still be able to travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals traveling on valid visas are not required to apply for a travel authorization.”

  2. More sensationalist blogging. Just be as accurate as you can and listen to your reader feedback while you have it.

  3. OMG why are all the travel bloggers getting so cranky when they are corrected on this issue? I was reading a similar story in another travel blog where the author was angrily questioning the intelligence of everyone who pointed out that this is not, in fact, a visa. It’s revealing. And Shawn, you’re “allowing the content?” What is this, Judge Judy? Quality of reporting has gone down quite a bit on this site…..used to be better, but sadly it has become largely clickbait, as other point out. I wonder if this comment will be allowed by his honor?

    • I would be curious to hear what other articles you have found to be clickbait on the site. We are always looking to improve and value the feedback. I went back through the articles for a bit and didn’t see anything that I think would be clickbait but interested to hear your thoughts on it.

  4. This is another reason I’m proud to be Canadian. Looks like I can still come and go as I please. Freedom has its perks!

  5. I have a Visa card. Will that suffice? Does sound like clickbait. Lots of hoopla about nothing. Wish our government was as serious about terrorism and illegal immigration. The Europeans have obviously had enough….

    • Thanks for the information and I am allowing this comment with the link so others can research, however I disagree. Our coverage and use of the word aligns with all media and is correct and accurate.

      Whether they call it a Visa or not, this is an authorization to visit and must be applied for. In the English language it meets all definitions of the word Visa and thus it can be called that.

      Many countries have names for their Visa programs and this is just another version of that. Either way it will require something that it does not require now. And yes we can agree to disagree, but others will see your valued opinion.

  6. I went to look at this ETIAS website, and it says ETIAS *VISA WAIVER*. It seems to be this is the opposite of a visa but a visa waiver registration database. I won’t give you the benefit of the doubt for being wrong, since you are a blogger dependent on visitors for incoming, and you were being dishonest.

  7. Well, it’s about time! We’ve needed a Visa to visit the USA since before the Dead Sea was even sick!
    It’s even worse now. There’s no reason to put up with the TSA theatre. There are other, better places to visit Visa-free. If the Americans want to come to the EU, make it as uncomfortable to come here as they make it for us to go there.

  8. In the interest of painting a complete picture, you probably should mention that the ETIAS process is more or less identical to the ESTA process that people from visa-waiver countries already must follow to enter the USA. It’s also like the ETA process that Americans and others have to follow to enter Australia. Moreover, clearance under these programs does not even constitute a visa under many legal provisions. (Countries that require visas from US citizens are not eligible for visa-waiver status in the US. Australia remains a visa-waiver country because despite the ETA program because the US does not consider Australia’s ETA approval to be a visa. Nor does the US consider approval under the ESTA program to be a visa. The same no doubt will apply to ETIAS.)


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