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As of Jan. 1, 2021, Canadians traveling to several European destinations will be required to fill out an extra form and pay an $8 application fee.
The new application system applies to 22 countries in the Schengen zone, including Italy, France, and Germany, however, the UK will remain exempt.
It’s part of a new international security system being used to identify security or migratory risks posed by visa-free travellers entering the Schengen Zone.
However, the new system is also designed to ease border crossings for the majority of travellers who are deemed non-risks.
It’s expected that over 95% of applicants will pass and receive their authorization via email within just a few minutes.
Currently, Canadians travelling for up to 90 days in any of the 26 countries that make up Europe's Schengen zone do not require any type of authorization or visa.
The good news is that once a Canadian has successfully applied their authorization will be valid for three years, allowing travellers to go back and forth without re-applying.