The European Union will require visitors to apply for travel visas in 2024.
Citizens of the United States, Canada, and dozens of other countries (the EU estimates this to be about 1.4 billion people) will need to have been approved for the visa when boarding flights or cruises to any of the 30 European countries part of the program, which is called the European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS for short.
Luckily, the system for obtaining one of these travel visas seems like it will be fairly simple. Here is some important information about the new requirements to travel to Europe next year.
The application for an ETIAS travel visa will cost 7 euro, which is about $7.40, for those who are 18 to 70 years old. Those under 18 or over age 70 can apply for free. Family members of EU citizens also do not have to pay to apply.
How to apply
Applicants will need to fill out an electronic form either on the ETIAS website or ETIAS mobile application. They will need their passport and credit or debit card handy when applying.
The form will ask for personal information such as name, date of birth, home address, phone number, and email address; passport details; and education and occupation details. It will also ask which countries the applicant will visit, as well as any past travel to countries experiencing war or conflict, criminal convictions, and if the applicant has been required to leave a country in the past.
Once submitted, the applicant will receive an email confirming that the submission was received. They will then receive an email when the application is approved. This can take anywhere from just a few minutes to four days at most.
If EU authorities need more documentation or an interview with the applicant, the process could take up to 30 days. The application will need to be approved for travelers to be permitted into Europe.
When to apply
The application is not live yet, and a launch date has not been announced. When it does become available, EU officials strongly recommend that travelers apply before booking travel and accommodations or making any other travel plans.
When a person can apply for an ETIAS will also depend on the status of their passport, which must not be expired or within three months of expiring for the application to be approved. The ETIAS will be linked to the passport and valid for three years or when the individual’s passport expires, whichever comes first. Each time a person gets a new passport for any reason, they must apply for a new ETIAS.
How to use it
Once a person is approved for the travel visa, there is not much else to do. Border agents will have access to the visa through the traveler’s passport, so all travelers need to do is show their passports as usual. EU authorities say it is not necessary to print out the ETIAS, but travelers are welcome to do so if they’d like.
Updates on the ETIAS system will be available at ETIAS (europa.eu).