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New Requirements for European Travel in 2024

By August 3, 2023Insurance

The United States is one of 60 countries with visa-free access to European countries. But nationals of these countries will soon need to apply for entry using the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). 

The 30 European countries that require visa-exempt travelers to have an ETIAS travel authorization are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

ETIAS application info

Business and tourism travelers visiting Europe for short-term stays (90 days in any 180-day period) must have preapproved authorization to travel.

The fee is 7 euro (individuals over 70 and under 18 are exempt from the fee) and the application is available online. The application requires:

  • Personal data for each traveler
  • Travel details
  • Education level
  • Current occupation
  • Travel itinerary in any of the countries requiring ETIAS
  • Criminal convictions
  • Past travels to war or conflict zones
  • Details of any previous expulsions from a country

Approvals and denials

A response is usually provided within minutes of applying. Some applications can take up to 14 days if ETIAS requests additional information. Denials can be appealed.

ETIAS authorizations are valid for three years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. Travelers can leave and return to countries requiring ETIAS if they respect the 90-day stay limit. 

ETIAS travel authorization does not guarantee entry into every European country; traditional customs requirements and other entry requirements still apply.

Travel tips for ETIAS countries 

It’s essential that your business travelers follow each country’s travel protocols, including identification, authorization and supporting documentation. Here are some tips for your traveling employees:

  • Apply for your ETIAS travel authorization in advance of travel.
  • Book your accommodations and tickets after you receive your travel authorization.
  • Keep your ETIAS travel authorization with you during your entire stay. You’ll need it when entering and exiting countries and whenever authorities request it.
  • Carry the same travel document (like a passport) you used in your ETIAS application. Make sure the details match or officials will deny you boarding and entry.
  • Make sure your ETIAS travel authorization is valid. Just as your license or passport expires, so does your authorization.
  • Verify how long you can stay in each European country requiring ETIAS.
  • Make sure your passport is valid and not set to expire within six months. You could be denied entry or reentry. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to register your trip with the U.S. Consulate. 

Travel insurance 

Standard travel insurance will not cover situations where an employee is denied entry into a country. Most insurance companies consider a denial to be a preventable event within the traveler’s control. Cancel for any reason (CFAR) travel insurance covers a wider range of reasons, but the specific policy language is crucial.

Given the brand-new ETIAS requirement and the post-COVID resumption of more extensive business travel, now’s an excellent time to give us a call about travel insurance options for your company.