Next year will bring more (digital) paperwork for travel to Europe. Here's what to know.

Visiting Europe will get (slightly) more complicated and expensive for most U.S. travelers next year as new visa requirements go into effect.

According to the official travel site of the European Union, visitors from more than 60 countries that are visa-exempt will be required to apply for European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) approval ahead of their trips starting in 2024. ETIAS visas are not physical documents, but are electronically linked to the traveler's passport.

U.S. nationals can currently travel to most E.U. countries without prior authorization currently, but that ease of movement will change when the new law goes into effect. Meanwhile, visitors from many countries have had to apply for similar approval to travel to the U.S. since 2009. The U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) process is similar to the ETIAS plan.

Here’s what you ended to know:

What is the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)?

According to E.U. documentation, ETIAS “is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals traveling to any of these 30 European countries.”

The government adds that ETIAS approval is intended only for short term stays, up to 90 days in any 180 day period.

How can you apply for an ETIAS visa?

When the ETIAS requirement comes into force next year, the E.U. will provide applications through an official website and mobile app.

In order to apply, travelers will need to provide their passport information or another travel document to which a visa can be affixed.

Parents and legal guardians can apply on behalf of minors in their care.

How long does ETIAS approval last?

ETIAS approval is valid for three years or until the passport it is registered to expires, whichever comes first.

How much will an ETIAS application cost?

The ETIAS processing fee is set at 7 euros ($7.74), but applicants under the age of 18 or over the age of 70 can apply at no charge.

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How long will ETIAS application processing take?

According to the E.U., ETIAS approval should come within minutes for most applicants, but can take up to 30 days. The government encourages travelers to apply well in advance of any trip, and strongly advises travelers to receive their ETIAS approval prior to purchasing flights or booking hotel stays.

Can I be denied entry to a country with a valid ETIAS visa?

Yes. According to the E.U., travelers will still be subject to border formalities on arrival and an ETIAS visa is not a guarantee for entry.

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Do I need a visa to go to Europe? EU to introduce new requirements