Europe Adds New ETIAS Entry Fee From 2023


Travel to Europe is getting a tiny bit more expensive as the EU finalizes its European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

Prior to the implementation of ETIAS, tourists from over 60 countries qualified for visa free travel to the Schengen Area of Europe. However the EU will introduce ETIAS as a way to monitor traffic flow throughout countries within the Schengen Area as part of a safety plan to identify various security irregularities. As a result, travelers who once qualified for visa free travel will be required apply for ETIAS authorisation at a cost of €7/$7.50 to enter the Schengen Area from November 2023.

What is ETIAS?

As mentioned before, ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. According to their website, the system is being implemented to identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors traveling to the Schengen States, whilst at the same time facilitate crossing borders for the vast majority of travelers who do not pose such risks.

Unlike a visa system which requires a lot of human intervention for application reviews, ETIAS is almost completely automated, and applications can be processed and returned within minutes. In cases where applicants are rejected, they can then appeal it for a manual review. When implemented, the ETIAS authorisation will be mandatory to enter the Schengen Area.

States that will require ETIAS include those in the Schengen Area, as well as some micro states. They are as follows:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco (micro state)
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino (micro state)
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City (micro state)

It is also expected that Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania will sign on eventually.

Who needs to apply for ETIAS?

If you are a citizen or resident of one of the 62 territories (including the United States of America) that qualified for visa-free travel into Schengen Area, you will be required for apply for ETIAS to enter the region. These territories are as follows (note some countries may have additional restrictions and this should be checked before travel):

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua And Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia And Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • North Macedonia
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Holy See (Vatican City State)
  • Honduras
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • St Kitts And Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent And The Grenadines
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad And Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States Of America
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Hong Kong S.A.R.
  • Macao S.A.R.
  • Taiwan

If you are not from any of the above territories, most likely you would need some type of Schengen visa to enter and would not fall under ETIAS.

How do I apply for ETIAS?

Even though ETIAS is still being finalized, they have outlined the expected process which will go as follows:

  • Travelers will apply online for a fee of €7/$7.50 and will need to provide data including:
    • Personal information
    • Travel documents (e.g. passport or an equivalent)
    • The state which you plan to enter the Schengen Area via
    • Background check: details about any criminal history, visits to conflict zones, and other related situations
    • If the application is completed by someone else, details about the person completing the form needs to be provided as well.
  • The process which takes about 10 minutes to complete and a result can be expected in a few minutes once it runs your data through various European security agency databases and watch lists.
  • Approved applicants will receive their ETIAS authorisation which is valid for 3 years from the date of approval or to the date your travel document expires (whichever comes first).
  • Rejected applicants will be given a reason why they were not approved. The issue could either be a result of incorrectly entered information (which can be corrected via re-application) or being denied because an issue with the legitimacy of your papers or background information. If you are denied, you have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

Once you get your ETIAS authorisation, expect it to be checked during check-in with your airline or ferry and when you enter the Schengen state you intend to visit or transit via. Travelers planning to enter via a land-based border can apply for ETIAS at that location via a self-serve kiosk (if they don’t want to apply online). The European Commission will provide more details later on once ETIAS goes live.

Will I need a visa to visit a country outside of Schengen Area?

If you plan to travel to another country after exiting the Schengen Area, you will still need to check whether or not a visa is required to enter as ETIAS was not built to cover that kind of scenario. For instance, if you travel directly to France and plan to visit England after, you may be required to get a separate visa to enter England.

[Featured Photo: Pedro Szekely/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

Read More