Americans will need authorization from the European Union to visit some countries starting in 2021

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/WWLP) – Traveling to Europe may not be as easy once 2021 comes around.

The European Union announced Friday that Americans traveling to Europe will need authorization from the union to travel to some countries in the next two years.

In order to get into any of the 22 countries in the Schengen zone, including France, Germany, and Italy, Americans will need European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) authorization that will allow them to visit.

If you’re visiting the U.K., you don’t need to apply for authorization.

Before this, Americans did not authorization when traveling to EU nations for up to 90 days.

Similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) system that the U.S. uses for countries in the Visa Waiver Program, ETIAS does not require consular interviews nor the same degree of background checks as regular visas, according to The Hill. 

The authorization will be valid for three years and can be applied for online. The application costs about $8, according to CNN. 

To apply, you must have a valid passport, credit/debit card, and email address, as well as answer “some basic security questions,” according to the ETIAS Visa website. 

If your application is denied, you will be able to contest the decision, the website says. 

This all comes as Europe “has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal immigration and terrorism.”

To learn more about ETIAS, click here. 

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