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ETIAS: New European Travel Application From Late 2023

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The rules of travel to Europe have changed.

Starting in 2024, anyone traveling from one of some 60 visa-exempt countries is required to have authorization to enter most European countries.

With the first applications being taken from mid-late-2023 (ETIAS is currently not in operation and no applications are collected at this point), Applications will be entirely electronic, cost $7, and will require providing certain information on the official EU site’s ETIAS page. 

The process should only take minutes, given there are no complications, and approvals will be given almost immediately once the payment has gone through.

With some 27 countries, the Schengen area has been described as the world’s largest visa-free zone. Other countries that are not full members of the Schengen zone (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, UK, etc.), are still opting to participate in the program and collect the tax.

The U.S. has been operating a similar program for nationals from 40 different countries, mostly in Europe, in the form of its Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) launched in 2009. This new layer of applications is a way for countries in the Schengen region of the European Union to tighten security while collecting helpful revenues.

To ensure the new ETIAS application doesn’t disrupt your travel plans in 2024 and you are fully prepared, let’s have a look at the most common questions surrounding its rollout.

What Exactly is The ETIAS Application?

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is set to launch this year (no date specified) and will require Americans, among other nationalities, to apply and receive documented approval to cross into 30 European countries.

With a valid ETIAS travel authorization, you can enter the territory of these European countries as often as you want for short-term stays—normally for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, ETIAS does not guarantee entry. When you arrive, a border guard will ask to see your passport and other documents and verify that you meet the entry conditions.

The ETIAS application is linked to a traveler’s passport. It is valid for up to three years or until your passport expires—whichever comes first. If you get a new passport, you need to get a new ETIAS travel authorization.

Who Will Need The ETIAS Application?

The ETIAS application is expected to arrive in mid-late 2023, ready for those traveling in 2024. Passport holders of 59 of the 62 countries that currently travel visa-free will require the ETIAS application to travel to Europe for the purposes of tourism, business, or transit.

Here is the link to the official website for the full list of countries that will require an ETIAS application.

What Information Will You Need?

To complete the ETIAS application and ensure the process is quick and without any delays, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Personal information, including place of birth, parents’ names, email addresses, and phone number
  • Passport or travel document details
  • Education and occupation information
  • Intended travel destinations and stay locations
  • Any details about any criminal convictions, travels to war zones, and expulsions from countries

Who Doesn’t Need The ETIAS Application?

Travelers to Europe will not need to complete the ETIAS application if they are under 18 years old or older than 70. Once acquired, the approval status lasts for three years and you can enter the region for up to 90 days within 180 days without a full visa.

Watch Out ETIAS Scams

With an originally-proposed launch date of May 2023, many scammers have taken advantage of the delay and have produced professional and official-looking websites to lure unsuspecting travelers into sharing sensitive information.

Today, those sites can still be found at the top of the search results, sometimes above the official site of the EU. The European Union notes that any official applications or documents are always registered under the “europa.eu” domain. 

Several of the scam websites trying to steal personal information with fake ETIAS applications have website addresses ending in dot com or dot org. Several websites have been created purely for informational purposes and remind users that the official website for applying for the ETIAS application is europe.eu. 

How to Apply for The ETIAS Application

To apply, fill out the ETIAS application form using the official ETIAS website or the ETIAS mobile application. Applying for the ETIAS travel authorization costs EUR 7, though some travelers are exempt from paying this fee. 

Most applications are processed within minutes. However, it’s possible for your application to take longer. If so, you should receive a decision within four days. If you are requested to provide additional information or documentation, this period could be extended by up to 14 days. Or, if you are invited to an interview, up to 30 days. This is why it is important to complete the ETIAS application well in advance of your journey.

Once You Have Applied For ETIAS

Once you have applied, you will receive an email confirming the submission of your application which will include your unique ETIAS application number. Make sure you keep this number for future reference. You must be in possession of a valid ETIAS travel authorization during your entire stay. 

Once your application has been processed, you will receive another email informing you about its outcome. When you get your ETIAS travel authorization, make sure your name, passport number, and other information are correct. If there is any mistake, you will not be allowed to cross the border.

If your application is refused, the email will provide the reasons for this decision and information about how to appeal.

On Arrival at The Border

As your ETIAS travel authorization is linked to your travel document, make sure to have the same document which you used in your ETIAS application with you. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to board your flight, bus, or ship, or enter any of the European countries requiring ETIAS.

Having a valid ETIAS travel authorization doesn’t guarantee automatic right of entry. When you arrive at the border, border guards will check that you meet the full entry conditions.

Your ETIAS Checklist

  • Complete the ETIAS travel application well in advance, even before you buy your flight ticket or book your accommodation for your trip.
  • Make sure your details match those in your ETIAS authorization, you will be refused boarding and entry if they do not match
  • Make sure your ETIAS travel authorization is still valid
  • Check how long you can stay in the European countries requiring ETIAS
  • Make sure your passport is valid for three months after your intended departure from the European countries requiring ETIAS. If it is not, you will be refused entry.

At the time of writing, the ETIAS application on the official ETIAS website is currently not yet operating or allowing travelers to apply. Keep an eye out for its launch in mid-to-late 2023 and make sure you only apply and share your personal travel information with the official europe.eu website.


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Elitelyfe Team
February 27, 2023
1 min read

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