The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is set to come into force in the coming months, which will affect travellers from a number of countries outside the European Union and Schengen area.
The system was meant to come into force shortly after Brexit arrangements for travel were confirmed – but it has been repeatedly delayed, and is now set to be implemented in 2024.
If you plan to travel after this for business or leisure, you’ll need to make sure you have the right paperwork – but what will you need and which countries will you need it for?
Here’s what you need to know…
What is the ETIAS?
ETIAS will be an entry requirement for citizens of 60 countries which currently enjoy visa-free travel to European Union and Schengen Area countries.
Those who have a valid authorisation – which is linked to a traveller’s passport – will be allowed to enter the area as many times as they want for short term stays – normally up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
However, it does not guarantee entry into the country you plan to visit – a border guard will still need to see your passport and other necessary paperwork on arrival.
The ETIAS will be valid for up to three years, or until your passport expires – whichever comes first. If your passport runs out before your ETIAS you will need to apply for a new one.
Which countries will you need a travel pass to visit?
Full list of countries
You’ll need to have the £6 ETIA pass to visit any of the following countries:
- Czech Republic
Visitors from countries including the UK, USA, Australia, Ukraine, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand are among those who will have to apply for the ETIAS pass.
You can see a full list of which countries are included at the official website – which also gives details of how you can apply when the time comes – as well as who is exempt from needing the authorisation.
When does ETIAS come into force?
Currently the date for the start of the scheme has not been confirmed, with the official website only saying it will be implemented in 2024.
If you are planning a holiday or some other kind of trip to an EU country next year you should keep an eye on the website for updates.
When you do come to apply, the site advises that while most applications are processed within minutes, others may take longer – up to 14 days if you need to provide additional documentation or as long as 30 days if you need to attend an interview to complete this.
Therefore they suggest that once the scheme begins, you apply as far in advance of your travel date as possible so as not to be caught out.
You must also make sure your name, passport number and other information on the ETIAS are correct, and you have the same travel document you used in your application with you – as you will not be allowed to cross the border without it.
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