The European Union has delayed the introduction of its new travel authorization system until November 2023. Under this scheme, tourists from outside the EU will have to register and pay a €7 fee.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was originally planned to be implemented in 2021, then it was postponed to May 2023. However, a recent report from the European Commission announced a new start date for the program – November 2023.
When it was first announced in 2019, reports around the world referred to the new system as “visa”. The European Commission was quick to clarify that this is not true. More than 60 countries in the world have visa-free access to the European Union, and this will not change. However, residents of these countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Israel, Singapore, Mexico, and others, will have to register to enter the EU under the ETIAS scheme from next November and pay 7 euros.
Another important clarification: residents of countries that require a short-stay visa to enter EU countries are exempt from the new scheme.
How to apply for ETIAS?
Travelers must apply online through ETIAS using their passport and answering questions including information about previous convictions, presence in conflict zones, and any deportations from Europe.
The permit will cost 7 euros and the developers estimate that 95% of applicants will receive a positive response within a few minutes. Of the remaining applications, 3-4% may take slightly longer to process, while only 1-2% will be sent for a longer manual review with the possibility of rejection. The document will be valid for three years.
Who will check for ETIAS?
Airlines, ferries, train, and bus companies will be required to check passports and ETIAS clearance before boarding. You will be denied entry if you come to the border control without obtaining a permit.
Another subtlety. ETIAS will not be needed for every EU country. Currently, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Croatia are not part of the Schengen area, so ETIAS will not be required for travel to these European countries.
It will be required to enter Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, and Estonia.
What are the validity periods of ETIAS?
ETIAS is valid for three years or until the passport expires.
During this time, travelers can use it for an unlimited number of entries to the European countries of the Schengen area.