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Europe Won’t Require New Entry Permit & Fees for Travelers Until 2025

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European officials have once again delayed the implementation of a new entry requirement that will eventually make it more involved and more expensive for foreign visitors to get into most countries in Europe.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), which was set to launch next year, won't go live until at least 2025, according to the European Commission's Migration and Home Affairs website. Once it goes live, however, 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 won't be a full-blown visa, but a fairly painless pre-travel registration form.



ETIAS 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.

While 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. But 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 27 different European countries that allows international travelers to move around visa-free.

Here's what travelers need to know about ETIAS before it's implemented next year.


When Will ETIAS Take Effect?

ETIAS is expected to be launched in mid-2025, although an official date has not been announced.

So if you've got a trip to Europe planned for 2024, you don't need to worry about completing this new entry requirement. You'll be able to travel to the continent as you normally would.


Where Will It Be Required?

Aside from the United Kingdom (which is also 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.

You can find a full list of the 30 counties requiring ETIAS authorization on the European Commission's Migration and Home Affairs website.


How Do You Apply?

The entire process will be handled online. Travelers will simply fill out a digital form with some basic information like their name, nationality, contact information, passport number and expiration, details about their travel plans, and more along with a brief questionnaire. The application is expected to take about 20 minutes to complete.

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.

check on passport status 

ETIAS authorization is tied to a traveler's passport so there will be no need to print out additional documentation. And once you receive it, your 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.

The setup is intended only for short-term stays, so if you're planning to stay in Europe for a longer period of time for work or to study, for example, you'll need to apply for a long-term visa.


When Should You Apply?

Once the new system is implemented, officials recommend travelers apply for their ETIAS authorization before booking flights or hotels. It could take five minutes or up to 30 days to be approved. 


Bottom Line

Travel to Europe is changing, but not anytime soon.

Starting in 2025, 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 will add a critical step to the transatlantic travel process.

Stay tuned to see exactly when this European travel requirement goes live.


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