Have bags, will travel. It seems the world is "hitting the road" more than ever. If you have plans to cross the pond and head to Europe in the future you need to plan a little more regarding credentials.

A new requirement is set to go into effect for U.S. passport holders. American travelers will require more than a passport when heading to Europe in the near future. According to the Henley Passport Index currently, American travelers have visa-free access to 184 global destinations across the globe. That's about to change.

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Although our passports have been a virtual "key to the city" when it comes to international travel, heading to Europe will require a little bit more. According to reports, you will now need to apply for authorization through the European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS, before going.

United States residents won't be the only ones. According to the European Union website, 1.4 billion people from over 60 visa-exempt countries are required to have travel authorization to enter most European countries.

How Do I Apply for a European Visa?

The good thing is it can all be done by email. You will need to complete the application form which you can find on the official ETIAS website or its mobile app. There is a small fee of  $7.79. Once approved you will receive a confirmation email indicating if you were approved or not.

The approved authorization will then allow you to stay in European countries that require ETIAS  for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. Keep in mind, you will need to have your valid ETIAS with you the entire time you are in Europe.

According to ETIAS, the new authorization will be linked to your other travel document -such as your U.S. passport and will be valid for three years. Most applications are processed quickly, but ETIAS strongly advises travelers to apply well in advance of any planned trips just to make sure all documents are ready to go.

You can read more about the new requirements and apply for your ETIAS here. 


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