Does this mean I need a visa to travel to Europe?
This isn’t a visa. European Commission and U.S. State Department officials confirmed to the Washington Post that ETIAS is a travel authorization for visa-free visitors, similar to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
According to a fact sheet the European Commission released in July 2018, “The ETIAS authorization is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalization countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorization via ETIAS prior to their travel.”
“An ETIAS travel authorization does not reintroduce visa-like obligations,” it continues. “There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure.”
Which European nations will require ETIAS authorization to visit?
The new travel authorization applies to those entering any member country of Europe’s Schengen Zone. Currently, that includes 22 countries that are also members of the EU, four non-EU countries, plus three European micro-states. That means that you’ll need to register starting in 2021 to enter Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The micro-states of San Marino, Vatican City, and Monaco will also require registering.
While Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus aren’t currently Schengen countries,
“We will talk more next week about traveling to Europe”