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United States citizens need a visa to visit Europe from 2021

(CNN) – US citizens traveling to Europe without a visa will be a thing of the past come in 2021. The European Union announced on Friday that US travelers need a new type of visa – a Europe travel information and authorization system or ETIAS – to visit the European Schengen area. The Schengen area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move freely, including countries like Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland. Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for up to 90 days without a visa. To apply for ETIAS, US citizens need a valid passport, e-mail account and credit or debit card, the EU said. Minors, said the website, still need only their normal passport to travel after the visa enters into force. The Union said that the ETIAS visa is valid for three years and allows Americans to enter the Schengen area as many times as necessary. On the ETIAS website, the European Union said it recently decided to improve its security level to avoid further problems with illegal migration and terrorism. The United States has been in dispute with the EU Parliament and the European Commission on visas for Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus. Travelers in the five countries are the only EU countries that the United States needs to apply for. In 201 6, the European Commission released a report calling on the US to grant the same visa-free status to the…

(CNN) – US citizens traveling to Europe without a visa will be a thing of the past come in 2021.

The European Union announced on Friday that US travelers need a new type of visa – a Europe travel information and authorization system or ETIAS – to visit the European Schengen area.

The Schengen area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move freely, including countries like Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland.

Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for up to 90 days without a visa.

To apply for ETIAS, US citizens need a valid passport, e-mail account and credit or debit card, the EU said. Minors, said the website, still need only their normal passport to travel after the visa enters into force.

The Union said that the ETIAS visa is valid for three years and allows Americans to enter the Schengen area as many times as necessary.

On the ETIAS website, the European Union said it recently decided to improve its security level to avoid further problems with illegal migration and terrorism.

The United States has been in dispute with the EU Parliament and the European Commission on visas for Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus. Travelers in the five countries are the only EU countries that the United States needs to apply for.

In 201

6, the European Commission released a report calling on the US to grant the same visa-free status to the five countries as the other 23 EU nations in exchange for US citizens who maintain the same visa-free status in the Schengen area. EU rules require equal treatment for all Member States.

However, the report states that the Commission would wait until President Trump was on duty to “pursue full visa restitution”.

In June 2018, Parliament voted for the Commission to issue visas to US citizens.

CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report

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