The European Travel Information and Authorization System, formed to improve the security of European Union member states in the Schengen Region, has announced that travelers will need special authorization to enter Europe beginning next year. Visitors from countries that are currently exempt from visa requirements — including the United States — will need to apply for the travel authorization and pay a small fee if they plan to stay in one of the participating countries for fewer than 90 days. Here’s all the information that has been released so far.
When will the program begin?
The exact date has yet to be confirmed, but will be launching sometime in 2024. The system was approved in 2016 with an initial launch date in 2022, which was delayed due to the pandemic and insufficient infrastructure.
How can travelers apply?
Through the ETIAS website once it begins accepting applications.
Which countries are participating?
Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
How long will it take to be approved?
The ETIAS application will be processed electronically within 96 hours, and authorization will be delivered by email.
How much does the application cost?
The fee is 7 euros, or US$7.79, which will be waived for visitors under the age of 18 or over 70.
How long is the authorization valid?
Once approved, the travel authorization will last for three years or until the travelers’ passport expires, whichever comes first.