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European Visa Travel Waiver for U.S. Citizens

Traveling With An ETIAS Visa Waiver To The Schengen Zone

Schengen Travel Zone

Traveling With An ETIAS Visa WaiverYour ETIAS visa waiver lets you travel abroad to the 26 Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days within any consecutive 180-day timeframe. Whether you are visiting one, or several countries within the Schengen Travel Zone, having ETIAS approval means you can travel without a visa within the region. The purpose of your travel must compliant with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) terms and conditions. travel to the Schengen Zone in Europe you will need an ETIAS visa waiver as well as your passport. Passports must be valid for 90 days from the first day you arrive in a Schengen Area country. If your plans are for stays longer than 90 days you must switch to a travel visa in a category based upon the purpose of your stay in any given country.

ETIAS Countries List  

Border Arrival at Schengen Area Countries

When you reach the border of a Schengen member country that you are visiting or traveling through, you will be processed by customs agents. You can anticipate being asked some routine questions about the nature your travel, e.g. tourism, medical, meetings, etc. This is part of the normal screening to ensure travelers with confirmed ETIAS approval are traveling for the approved and authorized purpose. The ETIAS Visa Waiver is valid for short-term travel including for tourism, short-term business or education, (such as workshops or meetings) and/or for medical procedures. 

ETIAS Approval and Schengen area entry points

ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorization System, is an approval or authorization for travel. While it gives you the approval to travel to and through the Schengen Area, it does not give you unequivocal permission to enter any specific countries.  Travelers will need to be processed through customs. ETIAS applications submitted with honest, verifiable information are essential. As long as your travel plans are within the approved terms of the ETIAS Visa Waiver you should have easy, comfortable border crossing and entry into any Schengen Area countries you visit in Europe. Please keep in mind that at the official entry point to any country, you may asked some detailed questions about your work, your finances, your travel plans. Customs agents are working diligently to ensure safety and security for all.

According to the U.S. Department of State — Bureau of Consular Affairs it is recommended that once you have an ETIAS visa waiver you should be certain you receive a stamp in your passport when you arrive and depart The Schengen Area. They go on to suggest you, “Carry your passport when traveling to another country in the Schengen area. Even if there is no border check at that time, officials may reinstate border controls without notice.”

Learn more about the ETIAS application here.