EU Travel Update: What We Know About ETIAS
Do you frequently send travelers to Europe for business? Then get ready for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS for short, as it will be required for non-European Union (EU) nationals traveling to Europe starting in 2024. It’s not a visa, but rather it works as a pre-security check before entering an EU country. ETIAS will also apply to Schengen countries, where currently American, Canadian, Mexican, and most Latin American travelers do not need a Schengen-specific visa.
While all the details are being ironed out, here’s what we know so far.
Warning: beware of registration scams.
Applications are not open yet, so travelers don’t need to do anything for now. Be careful of websites appearing to offer this service.
What is ETIAS?
The European Commission (EC) first floated the idea back in 2016. It will act as a travel information and authorization system for visa-free travelers. The authorization acts as a screening tool to check visa-free travelers, spotting potential security risks and preventing undocumented immigration. And secondly, the pre-check will facilitate smoother border crossings for approved travelers.
Who will need ETIAS authorization?
All non-EU nationals who do not need a Schengen visa will need to fill in an application before they travel to the EU.
How does it work?
The authorization will be mandatory. Travelers will need to fill in the form online to receive travel ETIAS authorization via email; the EC expects 95% of cases will be authorized within minutes. Filling in the application should take no more than 10 minutes and should not require documentation beyond a passport or equivalent documentation. Where further checks are needed, travel authorization could take up to 30 days. If required, a traveler can be denied entry.
The ETIAS will be checked along with passports/travel documents when crossing the EU border, and airlines will be required to check authorizations. Applications will be valid for three years (or until the applicant's passport/travel documentation expires) and is good for an unlimited number of entries within that timeframe. The authorization does not collect biometric data and gathers less information than a visa application process. Travelers will be refused entry if they don’t have an approved ETIAS.
What is the cost of an ETIAS application?
€7, or $6.85, per application for applicants aged 18-70.
When does ETIAS go into effect?
ETIAS is expected to be in operation sometime in 2024. Applications are not open yet so travelers don’t need to do anything for now. The European Commission will announce more on its official website as more information becomes available.
While FCM will not process or provide ETIAS directly, you can count on us to keep you informed and prepared for what comes next. We will continue to provide updates as we learn more. If you need help planning for ETIAS, contact your FCM Account Manager today.