ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is a new travel authorization system, proposed by the European Commission that aims at strengthening the European border control.
Nationals from countries that do not form part of the Schengen Area might soon have to pay to access to the European continent. The ETIAS system stems from a new proposal, made by the European Commission, which is based on the successfully implemented American ESTA.
The new regulations will not affect any European citizens. However, if BREXIT is not overturned, British citizens might also be required to apply for ETIAS to enter the neighboring European continent.
Who will be required to apply for ETIAS?
Nationals from 60 visa-exempt countries will be required to make an online ETIAS application, before entering any of the Schengen countries. It is important to understand there are 26 Schengen countries, while the European Union is made of 28 member states in total. Non-EU citizens will be required an ETIAS visa waiver to access any of the 22 Schengen countries. What is more, there are 6 non-Schengen European member countries that will also require foreign citizens to have a valid ETIAS when entering:
- United Kingdom
These 6 countries are part of the European Union but are not members of the free-trade Schengen space. Go through the Schengen visa information about each single country carefully, before making your final departure plans.
Following is a map, showing clearly all the visa-exempt countries, whose nationals enter the Schengen countries with just their passport:
To view in detail all countries whose citizens will be required to apply for ETIAS before traveling to Europe, go to our ETIAS Countries page.
The exact price of ETIAS travel authorization has not yet been specified. Different free suggestions vary between €14 and €60. Whatever price is selected, the benefits for the European Union will be great. Official numbers say that close to 30 million foreign nationals have crossed the Schengen border in 2014. Basing the calculation on these estimations, by 2021 the European budget may receive close to €2 billion annually.
The numbers for 2015 are even bigger, with an estimate of 602 million tourists, out of a 1,2 billion worldwide. Bearing in mind that Europe is the biggest tourist destination in the world and the current state of the European budget, the implementation of a travel authorization system such as ETIAS seems next to logical.
The ETIAS proposal is also based on the fact that the European budget was significantly cut for the 2014-2021 period, leaving the Union with little options.
The estimation is that by implementing the Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System, €500 million will be easily at the disposal of the European budget by the end of every fiscal year.
How to apply for ETIAS?
The ETIAS proposal is fully based on the already implemented and well-known American ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). There is no more official information regarding the format of the ETIAS form nor the type of questions that will be asked.
What is know is that the form will be submitted electronically and all applicants will receive an email confirmation. Whether or not the confirmation will need to be printed remains unknown.
Nevertheless, it won’t be wrong to suppose that the format, as well as the type of questions will be similar to the information required in the US ESTA form. The travel authorization application format, currently known, includes a number of sections related to:
- The traveler’s personal information such as names, passport number and expiry date etc.
- Emergency contact information
- Past visa information
- Eligibility questions related to past visa rejections
- Criminal history
- Medical history
- Current medical conditions
- Travel plans such as itinerary; hotel / flight bookings
Further information will be made available after the pending publication of the official Press Release by the European Commission, expected during the month of November 2016. This website will follow the development of ETIAS implementation and all latest news closely.