Entry into the Schengen Area

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A visa is an endorsement on a passport indicating the holder can enter, leave, or stay for a specified period in a country. The US passport is the 12th most powerful passport in the world with 154 foreign countries allowing US citizens possessing a passport entrance without a visa.

Beginning in 2021 US citizens visiting the Schengen Area will need authorization from the European Union (EU). The EU has created a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) requiring pre-screening for security for travelers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area. The Schengen Agreement formed an area consisting of 26 European countries without internal borders and allow people to move between them freely.

The countries included in the Schengen area are:

·       Austria

·       Belgium

·       Czech Republic

·       Denmark

·       Estonia

·       Finland

·       France

·       Germany

·       Greece

·       Hungary

·       Iceland

·       Italy

·       Latvia

·       Liechtenstein

·       Lithuania

·       Luxembourg

·       Malta

·       Netherlands

·       Norway

·       Poland

·       Portugal

·       Slovakia

·       Slovenia

·       Spain

·       Sweden

·       Switzerland

Since the Schengen countries assume visa-free travelers will stay for the three months the following is recommended:

  • Ensure your passport if valid for at least 6 months when travelling abroad
  • Bring your passport when travelling to other countries within the Schengen area. Officials can reinstate border controls without notice.
  • Be sure immigration officials stamp your passport when entering the Schengen area and again when you exit.

Visa-free travelers will need to request ETIAS authorization before visiting the Schengen area. The application and $8 fee can be completed online, and the authorization is effective for three years. The ETIAS is like the US version of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Changes in travel requirements occur every day, stay up-to-date on changing policies, etc. If anyone has different information regarding ETIAS process, comment in the box below.

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Roseland Hupp

Roseland Hupp

I am Roseland, and I travel, write, and take plenty of photos of different cities and countries I have travelled to around the world. My blog is for everyone who yearns to travel and learn about the diverse countries of the world. Subscribers to this blog will gain unique insight to travel through hands-on interactions rather than a hands-off perspective of a being a foreigner in a new land. Each post will reflect the truth of the locale it represents without any sugar coating added. You can learn more about me here.

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