For Canadians and Americans looking to travel to Europe, starting in 2021, you will need to take an additional step before entering a member country.
In 2021, Canada and the U.S. are among nations required to register in the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) prior to entering a Schengen-zone country.
This new protocol doesn’t grant a visa, but is a new form of registration, regardless of length of stay. It’s estimated the process will take less than 15 minutes online, and approval will be sent to a passenger’s email.
“Nationals of visa liberalization countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorization via ETIAS prior to their travel… An ETIAS travel authorization does not reintroduce visa-like obligations,” according to their website. “There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected, and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure.”
The cost to obtain registration will be 7 Euros, must be filed at least 72 hours prior to travel, and will “allow its holder to stay in 26 different countries in Europe for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period and it is valid for 3 years from the date of issuance or until the expiry date of the passport, whichever comes first.”
Source: European Commission