SOURCE: Tyler Durden via Zerohedge
PHOTO: Dominic Bieri via Unsplash

Traveling to most European countries is about to get more complicated and invasive for American citizens: In spring 2025, you’ll have to first request permission.  And you’ll be saying adieu to passport stamps and ciao to facial and fingerprint scans –and having your biometric data stored in an enormous government database. 

On Friday, an agency of the European Union announced the updated timing for the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), which has first set to roll out in 2024. It applies to travelers from more than 60 countries that are currently exempt from visa requirements. Those countries have an aggregate population of 1.4 billion. 

As is the case today, Americans won’t need a visa, but they will need to apply in advance for permission to visit any of 30 EU countries for stays lasting up to 90 days. It will cost about $8 to apply, with requests submitted via the official ETIAS website or ETIAS mobile app. With activation of the process more than a year away, neither is yet configured to collect applications. ETIAS assures the public that most applications will be processed in minutes.   

The approval will be tied to your passport, and will be valid for up to three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes earlier. Once you have it, you’ll be able to visit as much as you want, so long as it’s a “short-term stay,” which generally means up to 90 days in a 180-day period. 

ETIAS recommends applying for permission “well in advance” of your trip, but doesn’t specify what that means. The agency does caution that the approval period “could be extended by up to 14 days if you are requested to provide additional information or documentation, or up to 30 days if you are invited to an interview.” There’s no indication where such interviews would be conducted or by whom. 

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By Michael