Europe Delays New Entry Permit for Travelers Until 2024

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Europe Delays New Entry Permit for Travelers Until 2024

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Good news for travelers planning a Euro trip this year: The entry requirement that would make it more involved and more expensive for foreign visitors – including those from the U.S. – to get into most countries in Europe isn't going into effect any time soon.

Europe has pushed back the implementation of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) until 2024, according to a recent update on the European Commission's Migration and Home Affairs website. It was previously set to go live in November 2023.

Once it goes live, U.S. citizens and other foreign visitors will be required to submit an application in advance through ETIAS to gain entry to nearly every European country. It's not a visa, but a fairly painless pre-travel registration form.

ETIAS is expected to take just 20 minutes or so to fill out online with some basic personal and travel information – with approval in five minutes or less. The cost? Just 7 euro ($7.41) for travelers ages 18 to 70. Minors and senior citizens still have to apply but are exempt from paying the fee.

Aside from the United Kingdom (which is launching its own version of ETIAS sometime next year) and a handful of Balkan countries like Serbia and Montenegro, ETIAS authorization will be mandatory to visit almost any country in Europe. That includes EU members from Austria to Poland as well as non-EU countries like Iceland and Switzerland.




While it's much cheaper and quicker than traditional visas, this new system will bring the end of hassle-free travel to Europe for Americans who are accustomed to boarding a plane with only their passports in hand. On the bright side, ETIAS authorization will be good for three years – and for multiple entries. So if you plan multiple European trips over a three-year period, your first form should hold up.

And once you land within the European Union, it should be easy to dash around much of Europe thanks to the Schengen Area. This is the agreement between 26 different European countries that allows international travelers to move around visa-free.

This new ETIAS setup has been in the works for many years – in fact, it had been set to launch in 2021, though the pandemic derailed those plans and it's been delayed several times. The U.S. has had a similar electronic entry system for foreign visitors in place for years called ESTA.

The entire process is handled online, and ETIAS authorization is tied to a traveler's passport so there will be no need to print out additional documentation. Travelers will simply fill out a digital form with some basic information like their name, nationality, contact information, passport number and expiration, and more along with a brief questionnaire.


Bottom Line

Travel to Europe is changing soon.

Barring yet another delay, you'll need to fill out one of these ETIAS pre-travel authorizations for a trip to almost any European country starting in 2024. While relatively hassle-free and cheap at just over $7, it adds an important step to the transatlantic travel process.


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