For those planning a family vacation to Europe, the rules on traveling to Europe have changed dramatically. Currently, there is no Europe visa Waiver for periods less than 90 days. But this will soon change by the end of 2021, when American travelers planning to travel to Europe from the U.S. would need an ETIAS visa waiver if traveling to any of the Schengen Zone countries for short periods of time. This is due to revisions to the European visa rules by the European Union.
There are several reasons why the new EU rules were created. One is to stem the tide of illegal immigration into the continent from various countries in South and Central America and other countries that have high levels of illegal immigration. Another is to reduce social distancing that might occur if an American traveled to one country and then traveled to another country with the same visa. Another reason is to maintain the social Distancing between Western and Eastern Europe. The last reason, for the most part unrelated to immigration, but still connected to the issues of social distancing, is to maintain the historical connection with Central and Eastern Europe.
The new rules affect all international travel to European Union member countries, except for travelers who are above the age of 65 or who are US citizens traveling to non-EU countries. This category includes many elderly Americans who choose to travel to Europe for medical care. Some of these Americans choose to remain in their home country, but others seek to travel to the EU countries where they have a greater likelihood of receiving work related privileges. Many of these workers have already obtained jobs in the EU countries where they are working.
All US citizens traveling to Europe, regardless of nationality, are required to have two weeks of travel time, unexpired, in free public transports. Two weeks is considered a short journey. This means that, even if tourists plan to stay for a week, they will not be eligible for benefits under the EEC or the euro as their currency. They will, however, be eligible for benefits in the euro as their currency. So, for the two weeks, while traveling to Europe, tourists must use the euro as their currency.
If tourists do not follow this rule and intend to use their benefits, they may be denied reentry into the EU after arriving in a new destination country. There are two reasons for this. First, some US citizens with valid travel documents may have purchased the needed visa but were unable to get it before leaving for Europe. While other travelers have valid reasons to need to use the euro as their currency. In order to qualify for visa-free entry into the EU for US citizens, they must meet certain requirements, including proof of financial security and having a job offer in a member state of the European Union.
Visiting countries outside of the European Union will often require travelers to obtain a vaccinated flu shot or receive a vaccination against Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B, according to the European Drug Safety Monitoring System (Doser). This is a fact that most travelers are already aware of. However, for travelers who have not heard about these requirements, below is a brief explanation.
The United States had put in place travel restrictions for several states in the past year. However, the number of states requiring travelers to obtain an international vaccination or a visa is much lower than before. Some examples are: Texas (effective February 25th), Maryland (effective February 26th), Georgia (effective March 7th), and New Jersey (effective March 8th). As noted, the numbers of states requiring travelers to obtain an international vaccine or visa are still relatively low.
Visa restrictions for some European countries in addition to the United States may also apply to some American travelers. For example, people traveling to France, Germany, or Austria may need to have a visa in order to enter these countries. Many travelers also need to get a visa if they want to stay in one country longer. In fact, many of the same visa-free strategies for entering Europe also apply to international travel within the EU. Some examples are: a citizen’s visa for a certain period of time; a seasonal visa for tourists coming into the country for tourism purposes only; or a permanent visa once the person reaches the age of sixty-five years old.