Americans will need a visa to visit Europe starting in 2021

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Traveling to Europe from the U.S. may not be as easy once 2021 comes around.

The European Union announced Friday that Americans traveling to parts of Europe will be required to have a visa in the next two years. 

In order to get into any of the 22 countries in the Schenegen zone, including France, Germany, and Italy, Americans will need a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) permit that will allow them to visit for less than 90 days. 

If you’re visiting the U.K., you don’t need to apply for this visa.

Before this, Americans did not need a visa when traveling to EU nations.

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Similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) system that the U.S. uses for countries in the Visa Waiver Program, ETIAS does not require consular interviews nor the same degree of background checks as regular visas, according to The Hill.

The visa will be valid for three years, and it will be valid for multiple entries.

To apply, you must have a valid passport, credit/debit card, and email address, as well as answer “some basic security questions,” according to the ETIAS Visa website.

If your application is denied, you will be able to contest the decision, the website says. 

This all comes as Europe “has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal immigration and terrorism.”

To learn more about ETIAS, click here.