How U.S. Citizens Can Travel To Europe Without A Visa
Last Updated : Oct 2, 2023
Atlys in the news
If you are thinking of traveling to one of the European Union countries, you're in luck. The European countries have abolished their borders, which means that you do not require a visa to visit most of them. It may seem straightforward, but there's a catch. Due to bureaucracy in many countries, U.S. citizens may be confused about whether they need a visa to enter the Schengen Area.
Here's what you'll need to know:
Do U.S. Citizens Need An E.U. Visa To Enter Europe?
U.S. citizens enjoy visa-free traveling to 26 European member countries in the Schengen Area. This means that American travelers can travel to any one of the 26 European member countries for 90 days. The purpose can either be for business or short-term tourism but may not exceed a travel time of 90 days in a 180-day period.
Although U.S. residents can also enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Area, it may change depending on their country of origin. For example, perhaps you are from one of the European countries that have established visa-free regimes with the E.U. In that case, you do not need to apply for a Schengen Visa. On the other hand, if you are a U.S. resident but are from a country that has not established a visa-free regime with the E.U. In that case, you must apply for a Schengen Visa before entering the Schengen area.
For more detailed information on the Schengen Visa, please check out our Schengen Visa guide.
What Documents Do Americans Need To Enter The Schengen Area?
After I first found out that I didn't need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area, I was so excited that I forgot all about my travel documents. So please don't be like me.
Even though U.S. travelers do not need to apply for a visa to enter Europe, there are some documents you have to carry with you before you are allowed entry. As soon as you arrive at the entry border of the Schengen Area, you must present the following documents:
A valid U.S. Passport (your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your date of exit and cannot be older than 10 years)
Proof of your entry purpose (this can be a travel itinerary that shows why you are entering the Schengen Area)
Proof of financial sufficiency (you can present bank statements or a letter from your employer that shows you have financial means to support yourself)
Although the documents I mentioned above are mandatory, you may also be required to present an additional document depending on the E.U. country you are traveling to. This document includes the following:
Passenger Locator Form (some countries require you to complete the PLF and present the QR code as an entry requirement)
What To Expect When Arriving At The E.U. Border?
Simply gather the few required documents I mentioned above, book a flight, and fly to your desired Schengen country.
You must follow the standard arrival procedures when you arrive at the border. Border officials will ask you about the purpose of your trip, how long you intend to stay, and other details. Finally, you can present all of the supporting documents you have gathered. You'll receive a stamp on your passport once your entry has been approved, and you'll be free to enjoy your visit to the Schengen Area.
Remember that authorities do not always request these documents. This is not to say that you should not collect them. However, if you do not present a valid reason for your trip, you may be denied entry into Europe.
What Is The ETIAS And Why Do Americans Need To Apply For It?
Although some U.S. tourists don't need to apply for a Schengen Visa, you must apply for the ETIAS. Luckily, this would only be applicable from 2023.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System is based on the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The system aims to collect information on visa-free tourists to the European Union and ensure that people who pose a security risk are identified before traveling to the Schengen Area.
Which E.U. Countries Can American Citizens Visit Without A Visa?
There are 26 countries are under the Schengen agreement. Therefore, if you are traveling to any of these countries, you don't need to apply for a Schengen Visa. These countries are 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.
You must apply for a visa to travel to Croatia, Ireland, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Turkey as they are not part of the Schengen Area.
How Long Can U.S. Citizens Stay In The Schengen Area?
U.S. citizens can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. If you are confused, check out the Schengen 90/180-day rule.
Is Travel Insurance Mandatory For U.S. Citizens?
Although travel insurance is not a mandatory entry requirement for U.S. citizens and U.S. residents, I advise that you get health insurance just in case. In Europe, travel insurance will cover any medical emergencies, such as illnesses or accidents, during your trip.
Can U.S. Citizens Go To The E.U. If They Have Been Rejected For Visa-Free Traveling?
Perhaps you were denied entry into the Schengen Zone despite being a U.S. citizen or a national of a country that has established a visa-free regime with the European Union. In that case, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa in the U.S.
You can apply for a visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate of the country you want to visit. However, sometimes embassies outsource visa submission to another Schengen country's embassy or consulate or third-party visa service providers.
What Are The Covid-19 Travel Restrictions And Requirements For The European Countries?
Before getting too excited about your passport-free travel to the Schengen Area, you must remember to check the Covid-19 travel restrictions and requirements. In addition, although the coronavirus pandemic has dimmed down, some conditions are still in place.
Each country makes its own decision about who can enter and its precautions. Here's a list of the requirements that you can expect:
Vaccination certificate (proof of full vaccination and vaccination status)
Negative Covid-19 test result (negative PCR test or rapid antigen test)
Certificate or recovery (proof of recovery after having Covid-19)
You can head over to the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) advisory website for further information. You will find information such as high-risk zones, lockdown zones, testing requirements, quarantine requirements, curfews, etc.
Alternatively, you can also check out Atlys' Covid-19 restrictions and requirements for countries such as 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.
Now You Know How To Enjoy Passport-Free Travel To The E.U.
You can now officially travel to the Schengen Area as a U.S. citizen without a visa. This means there are no hassles in applying for a Schengen Visa. Instead, simply book your flight ticket, and you're on your way to explore Europe.
Visas in Under a Week
A Step-By-Step Guide To Obtaining Your Dubai Tourist Visa In 2023Feb 19, 2024
Dubai Tourist Visa
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about Dubai tourist visas, including fees, processing times, and application requirements.
The complete guide for the Egypt visa from the USFeb 19, 2024
Egypt visa for US citizens
In this blog, we'll cover everything US citizens must know about applying for an Egypt E Visa. We'll discuss the visa requirements, application process, processing times, and Egypt visa costs.
Get your Armenia visa quickly - Steps on how to apply and requirementsFeb 20, 2024
Learn how to get your Armenia visa online; discover all the necessary steps to apply with a step-by-step guide and the requirements.
Turkey e-visa for US: Cost and application 2023Feb 19, 2024
Explore a complete guide on Turkey's eVisa for US citizens: application process, requirements, and tips for a seamless travel experience to Turkey.
The Kenya visa for US citizens: How to travel to KenyaFeb 20, 2024
Kenya visa for US citizens
In this post, you will find important information about the Kenya Visa for US citizens. This post will cover everything about the Kenya eVisa, the requirements, and how to apply.
Zimbabwe visa on arrival application guide for US citizensFeb 20, 2024
Zimbabwe visa on arrival
Need your Zimbabwe visa? No problem! This post has everything you need to know about getting a visa to Zimbabwe!
Philippines Tourist Visa: Requirements and visa fees in 2024Feb 20, 2024
Philippines Tourist Visa
In this post, you'll learn everything you need to know about the Philippines Tourist Visa, including how to apply, the required documents, and the visa fee.
Dominican Republic Visa & Tourist Card: Application and RequirementsFeb 21, 2024
Dominican Republic Tourist Visa
Discover travel requirements for US citizens visiting the Dominican Republic. Stay informed on entry requirements for a seamless visit.
Morocco e-visa: Requirements and Application 2024Feb 15, 2024
US citizens can travel visa-free to Morroco. Discover the Morocco e-visa for US Green card holders. How to apply, eligibility, requirements, and the e-visa fee.
Saudi Arabia e-visa - Application guide and requirements 2024Feb 16, 2024
Saudi Arabia e-visa
Get your Saudi Arabia visa now! This post will guide you through everything you need to know about the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa.
Get your Bahrain visa now - Bahrain e-visa application processFeb 16, 2024
Bahrain visa for US citizens
Need a Bahrain visa? You're in luck! This post covers everything you need to know about the Bahrain e-visa including the application process and requirements.
Ethiopia tourist visa: Easy application process for travelersFeb 16, 2024
Ethiopia tourist visa
Explore Ethiopia hassle-free with the e-visa for US citizens. Secure your visa online for a seamless travel experience. Apply now!
Myanmar e-visa— Application and requirements 2024Feb 16, 2024
Myanmar visa for US citizens
US citizens must apply for a Myanmar Visa. You can apply for an e-visa that allows a stay of up to 28 days. Click to learn the most important visa requirements!
Kenya E-Visa Payment Issues And SolutionsJan 30, 2024
Kenya E Visa Payment Issues
Tips for what to do when you experience issues with your Kenya e-Visa payment process.
Types Of Kenya Visas: Kenya Visa Requirements and CostsJan 30, 2024
Types Of Kenya Visas
This visa covers everything you need to know about the different types of Kenya visas. The post includes the requirements and costs for each Kenya Visa.
How To Complete Your Kenya Visa Application Form OnlineJan 31, 2024
Kenya Visa Application Form
In this post, you will find important information about the Kenya Visa Application Form. This post will outline how to complete it, important tips, and the easiest way to complete your Visa Application Form error-free.
Kenya eVisa For US Citizens: Application & Requirements 2023Jan 31, 2024
Kenya eVisa For US Citizens: Application & Requirements 2023
A step-by-step guide on applying for a Kenya e-visa. You'll find everything about the Kenya evisa requirements, online visa application, and application form.
Kenya Visa Requirements: Documents, Passport, and Photo RequirementsJan 31, 2024
Kenya Visa Requirements
This blog is all about the Kenya Visa requirements for US citizens applying for the Kenya Visa including Kenya Visa costs, passport requirements, and photo requirements.
Egypt Visa For US Citizens: Online Application and EnquiriesJan 23, 2024
Egypt E Visa For US Citizens
Egypt Visa For US Citizens
Get Your Laos E-Visa Now - A Complete Laos E-Visa Guide For US CitizensJan 24, 2024
Laos E-Visa For US Citizens
In this post we will cover everything about the Laos eVisa for US citizens. This includes the visa application process, visa requirements, and visa fees.
Malawi visa for US CitizensFeb 22, 2024
Malwai visa for US citizens
US citizens enjoy visa-free entry to Malawi. Learn about fees, visa-extension, US green-card holder requirement and more
Jamaica Entry Requirements: How To Apply For A Jamaican VisaJan 22, 2024
Jamaica Entry Requirements And Visa Process
Hi there! I am glad you found our blog. Check out this blog to learn more about Jamaica's entry requirements, the visa process, and visa fees.
The Nepal Tourist Visa For US Citizens: Requirements, Application Process, And FeesJan 16, 2024
The Nepal Tourist Visa For Us Citizens
In this blog, I talk about how to get a Nepal visa for US citizens, the visa fees, and the processing time
Thailand Pass: Requirements, Application, Cost, and ErrorsJan 15, 2024
How To Apply For A Thailand Pass
Find out exactly how to apply for a Thailand Pass in order to easily travel to Thailand.
Visa to Malawi—Malawi Visa Application Made EasyJan 16, 2024
Visa To Malawi
On your way to Malawi? Need a visa? Learn the exact requirements for your visa to Malawi and apply for yours with confidence! Or do it the easy way—use Atlys.
Apply For Thailand Visa For US Green Card Holders Online - 2023 GuideJan 17, 2024
Thailand Visa For Us Green Card Holders
Learn how to apply for a Thailand visa for US green card holders online. Find out about eVisa requirements, the application process, fees, processing time, and much more!
Maldives Tourist Visa: Entry and Visa Requirements to MaldivesOct 2, 2023
Maldives Tourist Visa
In this post you'll learn everything you need to about the Maldives Tourist visa. Including the requirements, costs and other types of Maldives Visas you can apply for.
Travel To Jamaica From The US: Jamaica Travel RequirementsOct 2, 2023
Travel To Jamaica From The Us
In this post you will find all the relevant information when traveling to Jamaica from the US. This post outlines if US citizens need a visa to visit Jamaica, the COVID-19 entry requirements and useful information when visiting Jamaica.
Nepal Tourist Visa For US Citizens: Nepal Visa RequirementsOct 2, 2023
Nepal E Visa Vs Visa On Arrival
This post covers everything you need to know about the Nepal Tourist Visa for US citizens. This post includes the application process, costs, and processing time.
Revealed: These Are The Most Visited Cities In The World 2023Oct 2, 2023
The Most Visited Cities In The World
Discover the most visited cities in the world. Read about why these destinations are so popular and special in the eyes of international travellers.
Maldives Health Declaration and Tourist Visa on ArrivalOct 2, 2023
Maldives Health Declaration And Tourist Visa On Arrival
Traveling to the Maldives this quick guide will help make it a reality. We’ll show you how to obtain a health declaration and a visa on arrival for the Maldives.
Jamaica Travel Authorization Form and RequirementsOct 2, 2023
How To Get Travel Authorization To Jamaica
This handy article will show you exactly how to get Travel Authorization to Jamaica.
Nepal Visa Extension Online: Processing Time and CostOct 2, 2023
Nepal Visa Extension Process
It is crucial that visitors don't overstay their welcome in Nepal. In fact, in this post you'll learn about the consequences of overstaying your visit. Furthermore, you'll learn how to extend your visa successful so that you can enjoy your stay in Nepal, or return you your home country
Jamaica Eliminates COVID-19 Travel Authorization Form And RequirementsOct 2, 2023
Jamaica Eliminates Covid 19 Travel Authorization Form
Minister Edmund Bartlett announced that Jamaica will eliminate Travel Authorization form and quarantine requirements starting March 1, 2022.
Barbados Visa From US: Costs, Visa Process, And Entry RequirementsOct 2, 2023
Barbados Visa Requirements
In this post, you'll learn about everything you need for a Barbados Visa. Including if you need one, the Barbados visa requirements, the application process, and costs.
Do You Need A Passport To Go To Jamaica?Oct 2, 2023
Do I Need A Passport To Go To Jamaica
In this post you will find all the relevant information regards to Jamaican passport requirements. This post will outline if you need a passport when going to Jamaica and what documents you can present when traveling with a minor.
Barbados Digital Nomad Visa: Welcome Stamp RequirementsOct 2, 2023
Barbados Digital Nomad Visa
This post covers everything you need to know about the Barbados Digital Nomad Visa. It includes the application process, required documents and visa requirements.
Thailand Pass Requirements and Application ProcessSep 4, 2023
In this post you'll learn everything about the Thailand Pass including the required documents, entry requirements and how to apply.
St Lucia Travel Restrictions And Entry RequirementsSep 4, 2023
Travel To St Lucia
In this post, you will find important information when you travel to St Lucia. This post includes information such as the St Lucia travel restrictions, entry requirements, and some tourist information.