In a world in which most western liberal democracies are slamming Trump for demanding a wall be built on the US southern border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the US, Europe is about to erect a metaphorical wall targeting legal US travelers, because starting in 2021, U.S. citizens will need a visa to visit most European countries.
“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,” the EU said.
U.S. citizens traveling to Europe for less than 90 days currently only need a passport, but the European Union announced Friday that starting in 2021 they will need a visa to visit most European countries. The decision follows an EU announcement in June of 2018 that it was in favor of imposing visas on U.S. citizens in the five countries, and the creation of a European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS, that will require “pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travelers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area”, i.e. Americans. At the time, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, indicated that the requirement was put in place for security reasons.
“The new ETIAS will ensure that we no longer have an information gap on visa-free travelers,” he said in a statement. “Anyone who poses a migratory or security risk will be identified before they even travel to EU borders.“
The new policy requires U.S. citizens to apply for a European Travel Information and Authorization System visa, and applies to the Schengen zone of Europe, which is a group of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland.
To obtain the visas in 2021, U.S. citizens will need to have a passport, which is valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Europe, a credit or debit card and an email account, the EU said. There is an exception to the new rule for minors, who will still only need their normal passport.
Visa-free travelers, including US citizens, will need to request ETIAS authorization before visiting the Schengen Area. They can complete an application and pay a service fee of 7 euros (about $8) online. The ETIAS visa is valid for three years.
“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.
Full article: US Citizens Will Need A Visa To Visit Europe Starting In 2021 (ZeroHedge)