ETIAS Requirements for Americans

To visit the Schengen Area of Europe from November 2023, it is mandatory to register for an ETIAS for Americans. This online visa waiver grants visa-free access to over 25 European countries for 3 years.

US citizens traveling to European Union (EU) and Schengen Area countries will soon have to comply with a new entry requirement.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is an upcoming online visa waiver platform. It will allow American citizens to authorize their trip to Europe by completing a quick form using a computer or device.

The ETIAS for Americans will allow US citizens to continue to travel visa-free to more than 25 countries in Europe, including France, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

To get this visa waiver, you must meet a few basic ETIAS requirements for US citizens.

Do US Citizens Need a Visa to Visit Europe?

American citizens do not need a visa to visit countries in the Schengen Area or for prospective member states that are preparing to join Schengen. This includes most European Union (EU countries) and a few others.

Starting in November 2023, Americans will need to register online with the ETIAS system before their trip to get visa-free entry.

By completing an ETIAS application for US citizens online, you can avoid having to go through a length visa application process at a European embassy or consulate.

Bear in mind that the ETIAS only applies to the countries in the Schengen Area and a select few others, but not to all European countries. US passport holders may need a visa for certain countries in Europe that are not a part of the Schengen bloc, such as Russia.

What is the ETIAS for US citizens?

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a digital visa waiver system. It allows eligible travelers to visit the Schengen Area without a visa.

It is being introduced as a security measure to screen travelers who have not had to apply for a visa. It is modelled on similar systems around the world such as the US ESTA.

The ETIAS system is designed to be quick and convenient, while providing an extra layer of security for the Schengen border.

It will take a matter of minutes for American applicants to enter their details. Confirmation of the approved ETIAS visa waiver for US citizens will be delivered by email within a few business days at most, making it a much simpler and faster process than applying for a visa.

Countries that Americans Can Visit with ETIAS

The ETIAS for US citizens allows Americans to visit any country within the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area currently consists of 26 member states: 22 European Union (EU) countries and the 4 members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

A further 4 EU countries are in the process of joining the Schengen Area (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania). ETIAS will allow US nationals to visit all of these countries too.

This means that ETIAS will grant Americans access to 26 out of the 27 EU member states, with only the Republic of Ireland maintaining a separate visa policy.

There are also 4 European microstates for which the ETIAS will be needed to visit visa-free from the United States. Although not technically part of Schengen, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City can only be accessed by land from a neighboring Schengen country, for which ETIAS will be required.

US passport holders can use the ETIAS to visit the following countries:

ETIAS Countries

ETIAS Visa Waiver Requirements for Citizens Of United States

The upcoming visa waiver is designed to be quick and easy to obtain. There are a few basic ETIAS requirements for Americans to apply successfully.

The following items are needed to complete the online application:

  • Valid US passport
  • Email address
  • Method of payment (credit/debit card) to cover the processing fee

Your US passport must meet the following criteria:

  • Validity of at least 3 months after arriving in the Schengen Area
  • Biometric chip
  • Must be used to travel to Europe, as the ETIAS visa waiver is registered to this passport only

How to Apply for ETIAS from United States?

The ETIAS application for US nationals is done completely online. There is no need to make an in-person appointment at an embassy or consulate or fill out paperwork.

Simply complete the short online ETIAS form using a computer or device with an internet connection. This takes just a few minutes.

Americans applying for the ETIAS visa waiver must provide basic personal details, including the following:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Gender

The details of a valid US passport are required, including:

  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Issue and expiry dates

You will also need to provide some contact information, including the following:

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Current address

You must also state which Schengen country you plan to arrive in first and answer some security-related questions about previous travel and criminal convictions (if any).

During the ETIAS application, you’ll be prompted to pay a small fee to cover the cost of processing. Transactions are handled by secure servers to protect your data.

How Long Can American Citizens Stay in Europe with ETIAS?

US passport holders with a valid ETIAS can stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period.

This could be 90 consecutive days or a total of 90 days over multiple trips.

The ETIAS visa waiver is valid for 3 years. If you plan to spend a lot of time in Europe, make sure you monitor how many days you have spent there in the last 6 months to avoid going over the 90-day limit.

After 3 years have passed since the first ETIAS registration, you will have to apply again for your next trip to the Schengen Area.

American Tourism in Europe

Millions of Americans visit Europe each year. The Schengen member countries are particularly popular destinations for US citizens.

The table below shows the statistics for visitor numbers from the United States to the Schengen Area in recent years.

  • Year

    Non-resident arrivals to Schengen Countries from United States

  • 2015

    17,295,235

  • 2016

    18,348,828

  • 2017

    21,078,685

  • 2018

    23,064,333

  • 2019

    24,813,495

Traveling to Europe from United States

When travelling to the Schengen Area from the US after November 2023, you’ll need to have an approved ETIAS visa waiver.

This will allow you to enter any and all countries in the bloc for tourism and/or business. These include many of the most popular European destinations for Americans.

With the ETIAS, you can visit France from the US — the most popular destination on Earth. The new visa waiver will allow you to relax on the Mediterranean beaches in the south, enjoy a ski trip at an Alpine resort, or take a city break in Paris.

Italy is another favorite destination for Americans. With ETIAS, you will be able to visit Roman ruins, explore historic cities like Florence and Rome, or visit some of Europe’s most famous volcanoes in Vesuvius and Etna.

Spain, Germany, Greece, Sweden, and Austria are among the other countries visited by many Americans each year, all of which will use the ETIAS scheme from 2023.

You must remember to travel with the same US passport that you registered in the ETIAS application. When the passport is scanned at border control, the ETIAS visa waiver will be read electronically.

If the US passport you registered is lost, stolen, damaged, or expires, you will need to get a new passport before registering with ETIAS.