Certain countries in Europe will be requiring a visa for US travelers from 2021

The program is set to begin in certain European countries on January 1, 2021.

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The new visa program will require travelers from the US  to obtain a European visa for a program called ETIAS before traveling to 26 European countries. Ireland is not one of them but there are plans to include Ireland in the future. It is a measure designed to increase security monitoring.

Currently, you don't need a visa to visit Ireland

Learn more about the ETIAS program and how it will affect people visiting Ireland here:

What is ETIAS?

E.U. Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS, is a visa waiver system similar to the ESTA program in the United States that will be put in operation by countries in the Schengen Zone in Europe in 2021.

To apply for the ETIAS visa, applicants will need a valid passport, a credit or debit card, and a valid email address. Applicants can apply online and will be notified within 96 hours whether or not they are approved. If approved, an ETIAS visa will be valid for three years for multiple visits. The cost of the application is not yet known.

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What is the Schengen Zone?

The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed by European countries with the aim of “abolishment of national borders.” The 26 countries within the Schengen Zone have "ended border control" amongst themselves and offer free travel areas.

The Schengen Zone is different from the European Union, although there are overlaps. There are Schengen Members who are not in the EU, and there are EU members who are not in the Schengen Zone.

Ireland, for instance, is a member of the European Union but is not a member of the Schengen Zone.

Which countries are in the Schengen Zone?

26 right now: 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.

Ireland is currently not a part of the Schengen Zone.

Which countries will require an ETIAS visa for entry?

All 26 countries in the Schengen Zone will need an ETIAS visa for entry. Ireland is not part of the Schengen Zone (for now) and will not require an ETIAS visa for entry.

Is Ireland part of the Schengen Zone?

No, but the ETIAS site says “it is very probable that in the near future that will change and they will require an ETIAS visa waiver to cross Ireland’s border.”

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Travelers from which countries will need an ETIAS to visit the Schengen Area?

Travelers from 61 countries including the US, Australia, and Canada, will be required to obtain ETIAS visas to visit the Schengen Area.

Travelers from which countries will need an ETIAS to visit Ireland?

None. While the United States, Canada, and Australia are among 61 countries that will need to apply for ETIAS visas, Ireland is not currently a part of the Schengen Area which is requiring ETIAS visas.

How does Brexit affect ETIAS visas?

It is unclear. “Since the UK is going through the Brexit procedures, it is still unclear of what the conditions for Britons wishing to enter the EU will be. However, the British are very likely to fall under the ETIAS program.”

“As the negotiations for the UK leaving the EU proceed, the situation will be clarified and British citizens will understand whether they have to get the ETIAS or not.”

Traveling to Ireland in 2019: Are you hoping or planning to travel to Ireland this year? Join with other travelers, adventurers and lovers of Ireland in our dedicated travel group, where you can find top tips, great recommendations, and air out any of your concerns and questions.

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Will you need this new kind of visa to travel to Ireland?Getty