The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was approved in 2016 and has been under development ever since. It’s planned to be a visa waiver program wherein those with non-EU passports from roughly 60 countries, including the U.S., would need to fill out an electronic form before traveling to the EU, for security purposes. They would then have to be approved before being allowed to travel into the 26 European Schengen-zone countries.
The system was scheduled to be launched on January 1, 2021 and be fully operational by the end of that year, with “full implementation” by 2022.
But guess what? It’s been delayed.
Multiple sources are reporting that the launch of the ETIAS program will now be delayed until the end of 2022. There will also be a grace/transition period for the first six months. During that time, if you enter the European Union, you’ll be told about the online ETIAS form, receive printed information about it, and will be encouraged to fill out the form. But you don’t have to fill it out if you don’t want to ;-). So the program won’t be formally required until mid-2023.
The reason for the delay is said to be a combination of a slowdown of the adoption of the ETIAS regulation, as well as that of the integration of the Entry/Exit System, which tracks the movement of foreign visitors across borders while they’re in the European Union.
In other words, “government planning stuff.”
The delay was confirmed in The Independent last month.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary