Tourists planning a 2023 European summer vacation will have to add an extra item to their packing list: an ETIAS.
From next May, all non-EU visitors from about 60 countries including the US, UK and Australia will need a valid European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver to enter the bloc if they’re planning to visit Europe for less than 90 days.
The online system, which is similar to the US ESTA and Australia's eTA, was introduced in 2016 with the aim of enhancing border security and streamlining admission into the EU.
According to a statement, while some applications may take up to a month to process, roughly 95% of them will be approved "within minutes," and those whose applications have been rejected have the option of appealing the decision.
Travelers between the ages of 18 and 70 will need to pay approximately $11 for a three-year visa waiver that allows them to enter Schengen Area nations for up to 90 straight days in each 180-day period.
It’s not a visa.
ETIAS EU is considered to be a visa waiver program, which means ETIAS is not a visa. Also, this special travel authorisation does not require applicants to physically go to an embassy or consulate. The whole process will be completed online.
The ETIAS is a travel authorization that exempts non-European nationals from needing a visa to enter the Schengen Area. One must apply for a visa if they intend to live, work, or study in Europe for longer than 90 days.
Travellers from non-EU countries who don’t qualify for an ETIAS visa waiver will still need to obtain a Schengen Europe visa.
You need one even if you’re just in transit.
The ETIAS is also required for travellers in transit. Without a valid ETIAS you won’t be allowed to transit through to another country.
You need an ETIAS to visit these countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as non-EU countries Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus.
ETIAS forms will be completed online.
The ETIAS will take about 10 minutes to complete, with visitors required to give the passport details, reasons for travel and answer a number of security questions, however no announcement has been made regarding the start date for applications.
ETIAS can only be used for transit, tourism, and business travel for stays of maximum 90 days. ETIAS will be requested by travel carriers prior to the beginning of the trip. Not having an ETIAS could have serious consequences, including denial of entry to the Schengen member country. The travel authorization will be an obligatory requirement as of May 2023.
Once you have your ETIAS visa waiver ready, consider these fabulous European destinations: