European Union Travel Information & Authorization System (ETIAS) Expected to Debut in 2024
Since the initial proposal was approved in November 2016, the target launch date of the new European Union Travel Information & Authorization System (ETIAS) has changed several times. The ETIAS is now expected to be implemented in 2024. Citizens that currently have visa-free entry to the European Union (EU) will require an ETIAS approval. It is hoped that the ETIAS will tighten border security throughout the EU and will be a similar process to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for travelers to the United States.
The ETIAS authorization will be required for travel to all ETIAS members countries, including the following:
- Full Schengen members (Spain, France, Italy, etc.);
- European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland);
- Future Schengen members (Bulgaria and Cyprus); and
- European microstates (Andorra, Monaco, etc.).
The ETIAS application must be submitted online prior to any travel to the EU. Each traveler, regardless of age, will require an ETIAS approval to visit EU member countries. However, only travelers over the age of 18 and under the age of 70 must pay the application fee of €7. After the application is submitted, the individual should receive a decision within minutes via email if no additional screening is required. An ETIAS approval will be valid for three years or until the passport/travel document expires, whichever date comes first.
The current regulations regarding visitor travel to the EU remain in place. Citizens of some countries, such as the U.S., will not require a visa for travel to the Schengen Area to engage in tourism or permissible business visitor activities for trips of up to 90 days in any 180-day period in the entire Schengen Area.Though U.S. citizens will not require a consular visa, after the ETIAS system is active U.S. citizens will require the ETIAS for entry to the EU.
Individuals of other nationalities must continue to apply for a visitor visa, known as a “Schengen visa,” to enter the Schengen Area. After the ETIAS comes online, individuals that currently require a Schengen Visa should still only require the Schengen Visa and should not be required to complete the ETIAS application.
Foster will continue to monitor developments in business travel to the Schengen Area and implementation of the ETIAS and will make future updates available via Immigration Updates© and via our website at www.fosterglobal.com.