Americans Will Soon Need An $8 Visa For Travel To Europe

Since 2000, I have been writing about Europe's plan to grant Americans a de facto visa that allows them to travel beginning in 2021. It is expected that it will be available by the end 2022. It was something I predicted back in 2016.The U.S. allows Europeans to apply online for a $14 electronic travel authorization (ESTA) in advance. This is not a visa, according to the U.S. government. It applies only to countries that have waived visa requirements. This is a lot of sophistry. It is not necessary to interview in person. The expedited visa will be valid for three years.Schengen Europe will grant Americans an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System), which is $7 electronic travel authorization. This permission will be valid for three years and will be available to Americans who apply online. It's not a visa.This covers travel to Germany (Schengen Area), Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic.It took a strange combination of political forces to get the programs passed.Europe is attempting to shut down its borders because of anti-immigrant sentiment. These European governments have control over not only who can enter their countries, but also who is allowed to board planes headed there.Resentment at Trump's former president over anti-immigrant sentiments in the US prompted Europe to seek reciprocity.It is possible to see pro- and anti immigrant political groups coming together to impose restrictions on entry to Europe that apply to U.S citizens (and other).The game of tit for tat is not over. The US Secretary of Homeland Security stated four years ago that he would reconsider allowing Europeans to travel into the US with only an ESTA. The Visa Waiver Program has seen zero terrorist deaths.Costs and restrictions to travel, the flow of goods or services, and freedom for human beings will ultimately be imposed. Most people believe that ETIAS will not impose any burdens. However, it is worth examining how the technology actually works and the quality of data used to make decisions.There are many scam websites that claim to provide information on the ETIAS process. This is not something you should be concerned about in the current year. Do not apply for anything and don't part with any money.