It’s official – travellers to Europe must start applying and paying for ETIAS from 2023! Here is what you need to know…
Travellers To Europe Must Apply For ETIAS From 2023!
The European Commission has just announced the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for all travellers to the Schengen States.
Slated to start in May 2023, ETIAS is meant to “identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks” amongst visa-exempt travellers.
EU travellers are exempt from ETIAS, and will continue to have freedom of movement throughout the EU, and the freedom to spend as much time as they want in any state in the Schengen zone.
ETIAS will only be obligatory for travellers from countries that currently do not require a visa to travel to the EU – about 60 countries including the US and the UK.
Travellers who currently need a visa to enter the EU will still need to apply for a visa. They will not be allowed to use ETIAS.
How Does ETIAS Work For Travellers To Europe?
Travellers will need to apply for ETIAS through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval granted “within minutes” for about 95% of applicants. But that could drag out to a month for “very exceptional cases”. Those who have their application denied will be allowed to appeal.
While applying for ETIAS will be quicker, done online, and requires no biometric information, there is a cost attached.
Every traveller aged 18 to 70 will need to pay an ETIAS fee of €7 (about US$7.40, £6, A$10.60, S$10.20, RM32.50). It is currently unknown if ETIAS will be free or cheaper for other age groups.
Applicants will be required to submit their data in the online application, which is said to take only “10 minutes” :
- Unspecified personal data
- Travel document (passport or equivalent document)
- Member State of first intended stay
- Background questions relating to previous criminal records, presence in conflict zones, orders to leave the territory of a Member State or third countries, return decisions issued.
- Identity of the person / company assisting the applicant in the application process (if necessary)
The ETIAS system will automatically check the information provided against several EU databases, and approve or transfer it to ETIAS National Units for manual processing.
Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for 3 years, or until the expiry date of the passport. So if possible, travellers should definitely renew their passports before applying.
But note that the ETIAS can be revoked at any time, if the conditions for that travel authorisation are no longer met by the applicant.
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