Europe's ETIAS: What we know
Get used to hearing the term European Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS for short, as that’s what will be required for traveling to Europe from a yet-to-be-announced date in 2025.
It’s not a visa but works as a pre-security check before entering an EU country. ETIAS will also apply to Schengen countries, where currently American, Canadian, Mexican and most Latin American travelers do not need a Schengen-specific visa.
We'll answer what we know so far, including:
- How to get an ETIAS
- When ETIAS comes into effect
- Whether US nationals need an ETIAS to go to Europe
Caution: beware of scam websites
Applications are not open yet, so travelers don’t need to do anything for now. Be careful of websites appearing to offer this service.
What is an ETIAS?
The European Commission (EC) first floated the idea of an ETIAS back in 2016. It has two purposes to fill information and security gaps from visa-free travelers. Firstly, ETIAS acts as a screening tool to check visa-free travelers, spotting potential security risks and preventing illegal immigration. And secondly, the pre-check will facilitate smoother border crossings for approved travelers.
Who needs an ETIAS authorization?
All non-EU nationals who do not need a Schengen visa will need to fill in an ETIAS application before they travel to the EU.
How to apply for an ETIAS
ETIAS will be mandatory. Travelers will need to fill in the form online to receive travel authorization via email; the EC expects 95% of cases will be authorized within minutes. Filling in the application should take no more than 10 minutes and should not require documentation beyond a passport or equivalent documentation. Where further checks are needed, travel authorization could take up to 30 days. If required, a traveler can be denied entry.
The ETIAS will be checked along with passports/travel documents when crossing the EU border, and airlines will be required to check authorizations.
ETIAS applications will be valid for three years (or until the passport/travel document expires) and for an unlimited number of entries within that timeframe.
The authorization does not collect biometric data and gathers less information than a visa application process.
Travelers will be refused entry if they don’t have an approved ETIAS.
How much does ETIAS cost?
$6.95 per application for applicants aged 18-70.
Can I apply for ETIAS now?
Applications are not open yet so travelers don’t need to do anything for now.
ETIAS is expected to be in operation in 2025. When announced by the European Commission, more information will be available on this page.