The share of American citizens who hold a passport has increased greatly over the past 30 years. In 2017, over 21.4 million passports were issued in the United States., the highest ever recorded. More and more Americans are traveling to Europe each year. At this time, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen Zone, made up of 26 countries, for stays of up to 90 days. Americans can travel to and within the Schengen Area simply by presenting a valid passport at a port of entry. However, in the near future, this will change for U.S. nationals and citizens of over 60 countries. In the year 2021, the European Union will introduce the ETIAS travel authorization to strengthen their shared external borders and protect the region against different threats. This electronic visa waiver will become an entry requirement for American travelers, including children.
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. Currently, the ETIAS system is being developed by the eu-LISA agency that manages large EU IT systems. The system will determine a traveler’s eligibility before they can travel to Europe. When applying for an ETIAS visa waiver, travelers will be required to provide their personal details and passport information. Once an ETIAS application is submitted, all of the data will be automatically checked against a series of security databases. This way, the ETIAS system will be able to identify individuals that may pose a threat to the Schengen Area.
What is ETIAS for US children?
ETIAS will be a mandatory entry requirement for all eligible citizens. This means that children will need to obtain an ETIAS authorization to travel to Europe. The ETIAS for US children will be obtainable through an online form. Parents or guardians will be able to complete the ETIAS application on their child’s behalf. The ETIAS form will include a section where a parent or guardian can indicate that they are completing the form for their child. The parent or guardian will be required to include their details and their relation to the applicant.
Once ETIAS visa waiver is approved, it will be valid for three consecutive years or until the passport expires. It will be really important to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver with a valid passport. All information on the passport must match the details provided on the form. If the passport expires before the ETIAS visa waiver, it will be necessary to renew ETIAS by completing a new application form.
Will US children need an ETIAS to travel to Europe?
U.S. children will need an ETIAS to visit any of the 26 countries in the Schengen Zone. To visit countries that aren’t members of the Schengen Agreement, U.S. citizens should revise the entry requirements before booking their trip. The countries in the Schengen Area include: 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.
Furthermore, these are the European countries that are not Schengen members: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom.
The implementation of the ETIAS system is the result of the EU’s efforts to protect its borders and citizens. Security has become a priority, especially after several terrorist attacks took place in the region. The system will identify individuals with a criminal record or those who are trying to commit fraud.