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New Authorization to Be Required for European Travel Beginning in 2021

Beginning in 2021, Americans traveling to 26 European countries that are visa-free will have to get a prior authorization called the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

The European Union (EU) approved the authorization last year as part of a new security system.

The ETIAS can be obtained online for a fee of seven euros, or about $8, and will be good for three years for unlimited visits. The EU said the vast majority of applications should be approved in a few minutes.

The EU stressed in a release that the authorization is not a visa, which would require more information, take longer and not be for as long.

The countries, which are part of the Schengen Zone, do not include the United Kingdom. Countries affected are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.