USA - Travel Restrictions to Europe

Arno Froese

This summer, tourists have swarmed Europe in record numbers. Many of these vacationers are enjoying the visa-free travel to Europe afforded by a United States passport—the eighth most powerful passport in the world this year, according to the Henley Passport Index—or one of the more than 60 other passports that offer visa-free entry to the European Union.

However, travelers from those countries will soon face an extra administrative step before they can enjoy Europe’s coasts, castles and more. As long as they’re staying for less than 90 days, visitors still don’t have to go through the complicated visa process—but they will need to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

Once approved, ETIAS authorization lasts for three years, unless the applicant’s passport expires before that time. A successful ETIAS authorization is “linked to a person’s travel document—such as a U.S. passport—and both documents will be needed to board a flight, bus or ship to enter any of the European countries that require ETIAS,” reports Kelly McCarthy of “Good Morning America.”

“Especially at first, I could imagine it might cause slower passport processing and longer delays,” Cameron Hewitt, content and editorial director at Rick Steves’ Europe, tells the Washington Post. “In 2024, I’ll be careful not to cut it too close on those layovers, until it’s clear whether this is an issue.”, 26 July 2023

Arno's Commentary

While virtually most of the rest of the world spends large amounts of resources to promote tourism, Europe has the luxury to limit tourism. The most popular country in the world, France, alone accounts for 118 million visitors a year. The number of tourists to the top ten European countries combined is over 467 million; that’s more than the population of the European Union, which is listed as 448.4 million as of January 2023.

Greece and Italy have presented plans to their governments aiming at decreased tourism.

What was unthinkable just one century ago, is now becoming a reality globally. While Europe is the richest, freest, and most secure continent, the rest of the world is continuing to catch up. This again shows that globalism is not some kind of conspiracy, but a natural reaction to the desire of people to travel, and subsequently learn more about other countries. Where will it lead? A more solidly united world with open borders for all, prosperity galore, and security guaranteed—but we add, all of it temporary. In the end, Revelation 18 will be fulfilled.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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