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In 2021, Americans will need new online authorization to visit Europe

The blue and yellow flag of the European Union waves against the sky.
Photo: Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

Any Americans traveling to Europe starting in 2021 will need to register for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) prior authorization.

The bottom line: To get the new approval, Americans need an email account, a valid passport and a credit or debit card. Once obtained, the proposed ETIAS authorization will be valid for 3 years. The EU cited a need to improve security levels and to avoid "illegal migration and terrorism" as a primary cause for the ETIAS requirement.

Go deeper: Here's what else the EU is up to.

Editor's Note: The language in this article has been corrected to say the EU requirement is not technically a visa and that it was not announced today.