U.S. citizens will soon need a visa to visit the European Schengen area.
The European Union made the announcement on Friday, saying the rule will take effect in 2021.
This wasn't a surprise — the EU floated this idea in 2016 and Parliament voted on it in 2018.
The EU says its aim is to curb illegal immigration and terrorism.
But there's another motivation here too.
The U.S. requires travelers from just five EU countries to apply for visas before visiting the U.S. Travelers from other EU nations don't need visas.
In 2016 the EU suggested that if the U.S. didn't drop the visa requirement for those five countries, then the EU would require American travelers to get visas before visiting the Schengen area.
That area consists of 26 European countries that allow people to move between them freely and don't have internal borders.
This includes countries like Germany, Italy, France and Spain.
According to the EU, the visa will be valid for three years and will allow recipients to visit the Schengen area as many times as necessary.
Newsy is working to confirm travel requirements for U.S. minors.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN .