A new travel requirement is on the horizon for Americans looking to travel to the European Union next year.

The new documentation is scheduled to go into effect in 2024, and will be mandatory for travel to nearly every country in Europe. Here's what you need to know.

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What Is It?

The new requirement, called Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (EITAS), will be necessary for every American (along with any other citizen of a visa-exempt county) for travel to the 30 countries in the European Union. When approved, EITAS certification will be valid for three years (unless your passport expires first).

What and When Do I Need to Apply?

Residents of the United States can use an ordinary, official, or a diplomatic passport to apply for EITAS certification. It is critical to confirm that the passport used for an application does not expire within 3 months of travel.

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How Long Does the Process Takes?

The application process is promised to be swift. The European Union also assures travelers that most applications are processed "within minutes", with a maximum timetable of 96 hours.

Who is Affected by the New EITAS Requirement

EITAS certification extends to all residents of visa-exempt countries who want to travel to the European Union. This means nearly 1.5 billion people from more than 60 countries across the globe, including the United States, Canada, China, and Mexico will need to apply for EITAS certification.

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Where Do I Apply for EITAS

EITAS applications will be made available on the official EITAS website here. While EITAS is expected to go into effect in 2024, the website currently states that "ETIAS is currently not in operation and no applications are collected at this point".

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