What documents Americans need to travel in Europe

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 5, 2008 in Plans |

This might be late-coming, but I got an e-mail from a friend asking what documentation does one need to travel Europe.

Sounds like a post.

Americans don’t need a visa to travel through the 22-member nations of the European Union for three months or less. It helps to have a flight home, though - not having one got us in trouble.

Fortunately, we were meeting Sean’s brothers, who had extended visas here.

For more details, see below some official information from the EU on foreign travel.


You will need a valid passport.


There are 28 countries whose nationals do not need a visa to visit the EU for three months or less. These include Croatia (but not Turkey, which are both candidates for EU membership) as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. The list of countries whose nationals require visas to travel to the United Kingdom or Ireland differs slightly from other EU countries. If in doubt, check with the nearest consulate of any EU country.

If your visa is from a country fully applying the Schengen rules, it automatically allows you to travel to the other Schengen countries as well. Moreover, if you have a valid residence permit from one of those Schengen countries, it is equivalent to a visa. You may need a national visa to visit non-Schengen countries.

Border officials in EU countries may ask for other supporting documents such as an invitation letter, proof of lodging, return or round-trip ticket. For the precise requirements contact the local consular services of the EU country in question.

More information about travel rights for non-EU citizens and visa requirements, including a list of countries whose nationals require a visa for travelling in the EU.


Mar 1, 2009 at 2:55 pm

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Nov 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm

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