In 2024, US Citizens Must Have A Visa To Visit Europe

At the moment, the Schengen Treaty allows US citizens to visit some 26 European countries without a visa. However, the European Union (EU) is going to change that. Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for up to 90 days without a visa. Soon, every visitor must apply for a European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS.

When you apply for the ETIAS, you must have a valid passport, an email account, and a credit or debit card. Unlike a visa some countries have now that usually limits you to the number of times you can enter or exit, the ETIAS will be valid for three years and will not restrict your entry or exit.

What is the Schengen Countries?

The Schengen area is made up of 26 European countries. The countries allow visitors or tourists to abide by one set of rules. If in compliance, a tourist can travel from one country to the next without getting visas from each country. However, the traveler can only stay up to 90 days. If you plan to stay longer, you must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you plan to visit.

The countries that make up the Schengen region 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.

How to Get a European Visa for U.S. Citizens?

The U.S. Passport

Gathering the Documents

If you don’t have a passport, there are different places to submit your application. The most convenient and cheaper locations will accept your documents. However, the process will take time. To start the application process, gather all the necessary documents that go with the application. You can download the form, DS-11, and complete it. You can also stop by an acceptance facility and get a copy as well.

When you receive a copy of the application, it will have a guide for you to complete the form. Also included is a list of the supporting documents you will need. Once you have all the supporting documents and fee, you can submit them.

Choosing a Process

You have two options to get your passport. You can select a routine which takes 10 to 13 weeks. This choice is if you are not in a rush for the passport. However, if you need it sooner, you can choose to expedite processing. Expedite processing takes 2 to 3 weeks and costs an additional $60.00.

You can go to a private passport expeditor or a regional passport agency for an emergency passport. You will get a passport in as little as 24 hours. However, the cost is significantly higher. The good news is you can travel sooner.

Where to Submit an Application

The most convenient place to take your papers is the post office. All post offices have trained agents that will review and accept only a complete application. Other sites that will receive your documents are courthouses, county clerks’ offices, and some public libraries. Only the post offices have more extended hours of operation than the other acceptance facilities. Also, all these facilities only offer routine and expediting processing.

Private expeditors can also get you a new passport. You can have it sooner than two weeks from a private expeditor. You submit your documents and the expeditor does all the work. The sooner you need the passport, the more it will cost.

A regional agency is one of 26 agencies across the US that will get you a passport the same day. Before you show up, you must have an appointment. You must also travel to another state if you don’t have an agency in the state you reside. You will pay one fee, which includes the passport and agency fees.


So, start getting prepared to have all the requirements by the time 2024 is here; you will be ready. Don’t wait for the last minute to apply for a passport or visa. The less time it takes to process an application, the more money you will pay for your travel document.