Starting 2021: Non-Visa Travelers to Europe Need Prior Approval
By the beginning of 2021, U.S. travelers and other travelers to Europe who do not need a visa to visit countries in the Schengen zone will be required to first get approval under the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) or will be denied entry into zone countries.
For workforce mobility, although the impact is expected to be minimal, ETIAS will have more of an effect on business travelers to Europe as opposed to transferees, who are subject to the much more extensive process of obtaining a work visa.
The application process is expected to take about 10 minutes and will require the applicant to provide personal background information, a credit card to pay the fee of 8 euros, and an email address to receive a response. If there are no issues with the application or the background of the applicant, the system is expected to provide approval within a matter of minutes.
There are 60 countries, including the United States, in which citizens do not need a visa to enter countries comprising the Schengen zone and who will be required to receive approval under ETIAS. Schengen zone countries consist of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
How It Impacts Mobility
Citizens of countries who are required to obtain a visa to enter a Schengen country will continue to be required to do so and will not need to register under ETIAS. EU officials are referring to ETIAS as a screening system like systems used by the U.S. and other countries. It is being implemented as an additional border security measure.
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