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Schengen Visa


going to London next spring (from the US) and then taking the Eurostar to Brussels and then ICE on to Cologne Germany to visit my mother and my brother. I travel with an US passport. I understand that I now need an Schengen visa to enter the Schengen Zone but need clarification on where to apply for this. Thanks in advance for advice and clarification.

Posted by
13189 posts

This has not come in to effect yet so for a US passport holder you are allowed 90 days in the Schengen Zone with no visa.

A non-official ETIAS website says it probably will come in to place in November 2023 but it's been put off for years so I'd not make any bets on a date this far out.

Here is a link to The Points Guy travel blog:

Posted by
16547 posts

When you enter Schengen you are on an unwritten visa. You get 90 days in any 180 days. No application, no paperwork. If you mess up, they will let you know when you leave ... maybe . Or when you try and return . Maybe. Just stay within the limits and enjoy.

Posted by
1894 posts

The ESTAS style visa system is supposed to take affect in November 2023. As of now, you will pay $8.00 for a 3 year "visa" allowance and they take your fingerprints, etc. Just like foreigners have to do in American airports.

You don't need to worry about it yet.

Posted by
9115 posts

As a U.S. citizen, you have the privilege of visa-free travel to the members of the Schengen accord for up to 90 days for tourist purposes.

At some point next year, U.S. citizens may need to fill out an application for, and receive, an ETIAS document. This is still not a visa, and only available to people who travel to Schengen member states under the visa waiver program.

People keep conflating ETIAS with a visa. It is NOT a visa.

(It's also a parallel to a program that the U.S. has had in place for European visitors who have the privilege of visa-free travel for years. the U.S. program that Europeans have to enroll in is called ESTA.)

(Visas are much harder to get than ETIAS will be, or ESTA is.)