The European Union (EU) has officially delayed the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) until at least 2024.
The EU has not provided a specific launch date for the ETIAS, but it has been confirmed that it will not take effect in November 2023 as originally planned, and will instead be launched sometime next year.
The ETIAS, which has been in the works since 2016, will require all non-Europeans, including those in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada, to obtain an electronic travel permit ahead of arrival. This requirement applies to all travelers who do not need a visa prior to travel.
When the ETIAS is launched, each applicant will have to pay 7 euros (approximately $7.40 US or $9.55 CAD) for a permit that will be valid for three years. According to the ETIAS website, the application process should take no longer than 10 minutes, and 95% of applicants will be approved within minutes. Travelers will only need their passport, a credit card, or a debit card to pay for the permit, and no biometric data will be collected during the application process.
It's worth noting that the EU is not the only government entity to require authorization prior to travel. For example, the U.S. has a similar program called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which is required for anyone boarding a plane or vessel bound for the U.S. The ESTA costs $21 US per applicant, and in most cases, applicants receive notification of their application status in real time.
The U.K. has also recently announced that it will implement its own Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) system by the end of 2023. The ETA will be required for all inbound international travelers outside of Britain and Ireland and will be valid for at least two years, allowing travelers to use it for multiple trips. While the cost of the ETA has not been revealed, the expectation is that it will be a small fee similar to other countries' pre-travel authorization systems.