What You Need To Know About Europe’s New Entry Rules For Americans

ETIAS is coming and it’s going to change the way that you travel to Europe – making it more like what Europeans have to go through to come here.

The U.S. doesn’t require most Europeans to get a visa to come here. They do, however, have to register online in advance and get an approved “ESTA.” Which is like an electronic visa! It’s just that the process we put people through to get something we actually call a visa is much, much worse.

Europe is responding in kind and creating their own online registration system that residents of much of the world will have to use before being allowed to enter. It’s called ETIAS, for the European Travel Information and Authorization System.

  • Everyone who is entitled to visa-free travel will have to get this visa-lite
  • You’ll apply and receive approval online
  • It will be valid for 3 years of unlimited business and leisure visits (not to exceed 90 days in any 180-day rolling period)
  • It was supposed to start in May 2023 but has been put off until November 2023. There will be a six month period after that where it’ll still be possible to enter Europe without one (and possibly some time after that as well).

etias will soon be required for europe travel

This applies to all Schengen Area countries, so EU nations like Germany, France, Greece, and Italy as well as non-E.U. nations like Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. (Non-Schengen Europe, like Ireland and the U.K., won’t require this.) You’ll be able to start getting an ETIAS for visits to Europe before the end of 2023, and probably should.

ETIAS allows Europe to reject people before they get on the airplane, although they largely already have this ability since governments of receiving flights receive advance manifests and can tell airlines not to board passengers now.

When applications open you’ll be asked to pay 7 Euros and provide identify and residence information along with education, employment, and family details as well as information on past travel to specific flagged countries and criminal history. (The ETIAS will be free for those under 18 and over 70.) Usually an ETIAS decision should be made in minutes, although it can take up to 96 hours if you appear to match someone on the naughty list in one of the myriad government databases that collect both suspected terrorists, criminals or political enemies (no level of proof required, and full of mistakes) and that triggers a requirement for manual review.

etias is another barrier to travel

The U.S. ESTA program has had zero security benefit from that’s not stopping Europe from adopting a new layer of immigration bureaucracy to mirror the U.S. one.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Another Biden FAILURE.
    If you wall across the U.S. border, The Brandon Clowns will give you lots of free stuff. No visa or passport required.

  2. The EU is not responding in kind by pushing for ETIAS and EES. ETIAS and EES are being pursued because the Europeans want to tighten the hatches as xenophobia has gained a lot of ground with them and as paranoia about travelers entering (and even exiting ) the EU/Schengen Area is not a fading issue. The USG has been encouraging ETIAS and EES as part of a belief that it will increase US security too and be a feed into more of a global surveillance infrastructure and make it less fragmentary.

  3. Trump-lover Alan,

    ETIAS and EES were under development for years before Biden became President of the great United States of America that Biden made greater by defeating Trump in 2020.

    Biden’s no friend of privacy for travelers and freedom of travel. On this, he’s as bad as the former guy.

  4. “Everyone who is entitled to visa-free travel will have to get this visa-lite.”?

    The above is inaccurate. To be accurate, it should be revived to say that most US passport-using travelers to the Schengen areas will have to get this electronic visa-lite”. There are categories of US citizens who will not need to file for ETIAS approval to fly from the US and enter the Schengen area.

  5. Revenue plain and simple. Now let’s hope low IQ commenters Doug and Fred stay out of this post AND STAY OUT OF THE EU TOO

  6. While in Europe a few years ago, I remember reading about this. They wanted the USA to end ESTA for EU citizens. Had we done that, they wouldn’t require it of us. We would not (and BTW – Biden was not the president at the time).

  7. Looks like Gary Leff is traveling and thus unable to moderate comments.

    TRUMP SUCKS AND BIDEN ALSO SUCKS because you have to be a sociopath to qualify for presidential candidacy.

    In addition:


  8. This article has soooo many typos and runoff sentences it seems it was written with his ass. So truly and sadly disrespectful to your many readers and followers you should truly apologize. If you are very busy or have “so many other things going on at the same time “ then you should quit doing this and not waste your readers, meaning us, time. Seriously, this article is pure garbage, and YOU should know better.

  9. Pro tip for Europeans: If you want to avoid US ESTA , fly to Mexico and then cross the border to the US. You’ll also be given free medical care and education for your kids once in the US- more than even US citizens!

  10. Don’t begin to paint Americans as victims of some revenge thing from Europe Gary!
    The new entry system will apply worldwide to all travellers from countries who currently enjoy visa/permit-free travel (most of the world).
    It will cost about half of the useless US ESTA, and last a year longer. Good value IMO!
    The is no Question as to who you vote for either, so those MAGA dummies will generally be able to travel to Europe.

  11. The 180 day rolling period is essentially unenforceable now. Post Brexit, this will screw UK folks who own EU property; Spain is tough on this.

  12. Renee,

    The EUropeans wouldn’t give up ETIAS and EES even if the US were to generally exempt VWP-user EUropeans from an ESTA requirement.

    Unfortunately, the US got this ball rolling with a de facto electronic visa requirement and now it’s in vogue for more and more countries to do this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *