Back to News

Europe, News feed Date: 31 May, 2024

What Is ETIAS and How Will It Affect Your European Travel Plans?

What Is ETIAS and How Will It Affect Your European Travel Plans?

ETIAS is the European Union’s European Travel Information and Authorization Service. It will regulate the flow of third country nationals (TCNs) with visa-free access to the Schengen area into the zone. In this article, we will discuss the implications for these TCNs, as in non-EU citizens hailing from around 60 countries.

The Development of ETIAS

ETIAS has been some years in the making. The Official Journal of the European Union published a telling entry on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. This reported the events of the previous Wednesday.

Readers learnt of REGULATION (EU) 2018/1240 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 September 2018 “establishing a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)”. This was actually a response to an agreement made two years previously. Yes, in spring 2016.

The entry reveals that: “The Communication of the Commission of 6 April 2016 entitled ‘Stronger and Smarter Information Systems for Borders and Security’ outlined the need for the Union to strengthen and improve its IT systems, data architecture and information exchange in the area of border management, law enforcement and counter-terrorism.”

There have been various pushbacks on the launch date of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System ever since. From 2020 to 2022 to 2023 to 2024. The most recent target of New Year’s Day 2024 was not met because of a combination of factors, including EU Entry Exit System (EES) issues, the Paris Olympics stretching resources, and technical complications.

The latest, and what looks like being final, proposed launch date is mid-2025. This will be after the setting up of the EES in the autumn of 2024. There will be a transitional period and grace period of 6 months each where visitors without ETIAS travel authorization will not be denied entry if they fulfill the rest of the entry criteria.

European Travel Information and Authorisation System Implications

Beginning in the middle of 2025, you’ll have to make an application for an ETIAS travel authorization if you plan on travelling to any of the 30 countries that are already part of the Schengen area or are scheduled to be so in the future.

These include all EU countries (apart from Ireland), European Economic Area states, and Switzerland. There is a processing charge of €7 for applicants aged 18-70 with children and seniors receiving the authorization for free.

The application is straightforward and can be completed in a matter of minutes. You should receive a decision within 96 hours. The maximum response time is a month and you may need to supply further documents.

Once approved, you will be able to make visits to the 30 countries for up to 90 days within any 180-day period for a period of three years, or until the passport used in the application expires. In any case, the passport in question must be a machine-readable e-passport.

ETIAS mirrors North America’s ESTA and ETA procedures. So, it will be familiar to those who have travelled to the United States and Canada. The costs are particularly similar for the ETA and ETIAS, C$7 and €7, whilst the price of an ESTA is $21.

Who Is Affected by ETIAS?

If you’re a citizen of one of the following countries, you’ll need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization:

  1. Albania
  2. Antigua and Barbuda
  3. Argentina
  4. Australia
  5. Bahamas
  6. Barbados
  7. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  8. Brazil
  9. Brunei
  10. Canada
  11. Chile
  12. Colombia
  13. Costa Rica
  14. Dominica
  15. El Salvador
  16. Georgia
  17. Grenada
  18. Guatemala
  19. Honduras
  20. Hong Kong
  21. Israel
  22. Japan
  23. Kiribati
  24. Macao
  25. Malaysia
  26. Marshall Islands
  27. Mauritius
  28. Mexico
  29. Micronesia
  30. Moldova
  31. Montenegro
  32. New Zealand
  33. Nicaragua
  34. North Macedonia
  35. Palau
  36. Panama
  37. Paraguay
  38. Peru
  39. St Kitts and Nevis
  40. St Lucia
  41. St Vincent and the Grenadines
  42. Samoa
  43. Serbia
  44. Seychelles
  45. Singapore
  46. Solomon Islands
  47. South Korea
  48. Taiwan
  49. Timor-Leste
  50. Tonga
  51. Trinidad and Tobago
  52. Tuvalu
  53. Ukraine
  54. United Arab Emirates
  55. United Kingdom
  56. United States
  57. Uruguay
  58. Venezuela

Countries Requiring ETIAS

These are the 30 European countries that you will need to secure ETIAS travel authorization for in advance of arriving:

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Croatia
  5. Cyprus
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Denmark
  8. Estonia
  9. Finland
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Greece
  13. Hungary
  14. Iceland
  15. Italy
  16. Latvia
  17. Liechtenstein
  18. Lithuania
  19. Luxembourg
  20. Malta
  21. Netherlands
  22. Norway
  23. Poland
  24. Portugal
  25. Romania
  26. Slovakia
  27. Slovenia
  28. Spain
  29. Sweden
  30. Switzerland

The Latitude View of the European Travel and Information Authorisation System

Ilana van Huyssteen-Meyer is our European Residency and Citizenship by Investment expert. She points out an exemption to having to apply for an ETIAS. “TCNs who have either a European residents’ card or passport will not require a European Travel and Information Authorisation System travel authorization,” explains Van Huyssteen-Meyer.

“This makes the acquisition of a Greek, Portuguese, or Spanish Golden Visa even more valuable,” she elaborates. “And considering these Residency by Investment programmes are becoming more expensive and restrictive, one can be sure that the countries behind them recognize their growing worth.”

“If you want the immediate benefits of citizenship without having to wait for naturalization, Malta is your only option. Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN) allows you to expedite your way to a EU passport. If you simply want Schengen access without the hassle of more bureaucracy via ETIAS, effectively a new Schengen visa, there’s always the Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP).”

European Travel and Information Authorisation System FAQ

1.) What Is ETIAS?

Essentially, ETIAS is a travel authorization you will need to secure in advance if you’re from a country with a visa-free agreement to any one of 30 specified European countries you intend to visit. It allows you to stay for up to 90 days in an 180-day period. This authorization is valid for up to 3 years or until the expiration of your passport.

2.) When Does ETIAS Start?

The EU has yet to set an official start date for the European Travel and Information Authorisation System to be up and running. Mid-2025 is the plan, with authorities expecting this to happen no earlier than May. After that, there will be combined transition and grace periods spanning a year that means ETIAS won’t be fully operational until 2026.

3.) What Does ETIAS Stand For?

ETIAS is an acronym. It’s like FIFA or NATO. E is for European, T is for Travel, I is for Information, A is for Authorisation, and S is for System.

4.) Can You Apply For ETIAS Now?

No. Although the European Travel and Information Authorisation System travel authorization is something you apply for before arriving to one of the 30 European countries, you can’t get to the start of a queue that doesn’t exist yet. In short, you cannot apply for ETIAS until it is officially launched.


Find out about how ETIAS affects countries across the world.

How to Bypass the European Travel and Information Authorisation System

We’ve already told you how to combat Schengen visa rejection. If you don’t have to apply for a Schengen visa, you will need to secure an ETIAS travel authorization. So, don’t delay and contact Latitude Group today if you want to talk about European Residency and Citizenship by Investment solutions.

What Is ETIAS and How Will It Affect Your European Travel Plans?

Date: 31 May, 2024

Posted in: Europe, News feed