All You Need To Know About The New European Passport/Visa Rules!!

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VISA for Europe??? Our luxury travel advisor Carrie Mandala has some news for us…

By now you have probably heard that starting in January 2024 U.S Passport holders will need to obtain travel authorization to enter the European Union. 

The European Union has implemented a new security program, European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), that requires U.S. passport holders to obtain a visa prior to travel.  This is similar to the visa European tourists are required to get when traveling to the U.S.

What does this all mean…

You will now need to apply online for a visa through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) website 

ETIAS is not a visa in the traditional sense. It is an online application that most applicants will receive approval within minutes, but some could take up to 14 days and additional information may be requested. All communication is through email. If you are denied you will be emailed the reasoning and there is an appeal process. 

The visa will cost about $8.00 and will be good for multiple entries for up to three years or until a passport expires, whichever comes first. It allows you to spend up to 90 days within 180-day period. All travelers will be required to have an ETIAS. It is linked to your passport and both documents will be needed to gain entry into a country whether coming by land, sea or air.

Once you receive your ETIAS travel authorization you should double-check that all information listed is correct as any mistakes may prevent entry. They encourage you to apply on the earlier side to ensure there is no disruption to your travel plans.

At the end of the day for most people, it is one more thing to add to the TO DO list.

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International travel has surged and the demand for passports is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, this is taking a toll on the processing time. Passports are taking up to four months to receive and have some travelers in a panic.

Here are some tips to hopefully keep you out of the chaos:

  1. Your passport must be valid 6 months after your trip return date
  2. You are eligible to renew your passport starting 1 year prior to your expiration date. I would suggest if you do not have pending international travel to go ahead and start the process then.
  3. Always opt for the expedited service.
  4. If you are 2-3 weeks out from your trip – start contacting your local state representative for assistance. They have been very helpful for many in getting their passports back in the nick of time.
  5. They say that emergency appointments will be given 2 weeks prior to travel – you must have proof of international travel – the problem is appointments are hard to get due to the demand and some travelers have had to travel domestically to get one.
  6. When in doubt working with a passport company from the start can be helpful. They do charge additional fees.

Bottomline check your passports now, set an alarm on your calendar and RENEW early.

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