It’s going to start costing more to enter some European countries in a couple of years. In 2021, the Schengen group of 26 European countries will begin to require that citizens of over five dozen countries fill out an electronic form to enter this group of countries in the EU.
The form, called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) system used by the United States, which is a way to ensure, through electronic vetting, that visitors don’t pose a danger, without requiring them to obtain a visa.
ETIAS will be required for citizens of 61 countries, including the U.S., Japan and Canada. Starting at the end of the Brexit transition period in 2020, all British nationals, including full British citizens, British overseas territories citizens, British overseas citizens, British subjects, British overseas nationals and British protected persons will require ETIAS for travel to EU member countries.
As per the European Commission:
Travellers will have to complete an online application via a dedicated website or an application for mobile devices. Filling in the application should not take more than 10 minutes and should not require any documentation beyond a travel document (a passport or other equivalent document). In case of an inability to apply (due to age, literacy level, access to and competence on information technology etc.) applications may be submitted by a third person.
An electronic payment of a €7 fee (U.S. $7.90 as of this writing) for each application will be required for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. The electronic payment methods will take into account technological advancements in the visa-free countries in order to avoid hindering visa-free third country nationals who may not have access to certain payment means.
The automated assessment process will start after the fee collection is confirmed. The vast majority of applicants (expected to be more than 95% of all cases) will be given automated approval which will be communicated to them within minutes of payment. If there is a hit against any of the searched databases or an undecided outcome of the automated process, manual handling of the application will take place by a Central Unit in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or by a Member State team. This can prolong the response time to the visa-exempt third country national by up to 96 hours. In very exceptional circumstances further information may be asked of applicants and further procedural steps may be necessary, but in all cases a final decision shall be taken within four weeks of their application.
Once obtained, an ETIAS waiver will be good for 3 years.
For more information about ETIAS, go to their website, ETIAS.com.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary