In response to the growing threat of terrorism, the European Union will implement the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) by 2021. The program will be somewhat similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program in place in the United States, which screens passengers before arriving in the U.S.

Once in place, the ETIAS program will be able to improve security standards at European airports. Under the planned rollout, passengers traveling to the 26 countries of the Schengen Area must fill out an ETIAS application before embarking on their travels and are required to pay a electronic travel authorization fee. After providing their personal details, including passport information and travel plans, the applicant’s data will then be checked against European and global security databases, including SIS, VIS, EUROPOL, and ECRIS.

To apply, a traveler needs a valid passport and credit card, as well as travel plans.

The traveler normally receives their ETIAS authorization in a matter of minutes. Rejected passengers require manual processing and can take up to 2 weeks.

ETIAS Validity Period

The ETIAS validity period is 3 years, a period of time that is considerably longer than other similar travel authorizations in place in other countries around the world. Indeed, one of the greatest ETIAS benefits is not only the nominal fee and easy application, but also the fact that it has a relatively long expiration date, allowing both potential travelers as well as governments to save time and money.

However, simply possessing a valid ETIAS does not mean that the traveler is guaranteed entry into the Schengen Area. The annulment of an ETIAS authorization is certainly possible if it was obtained by providing fraudulent information, in the event of new security alerts, or if the conditions under which the original authorization was issued are no longer met.

The ETIAS travel authorization is also good for multiple entries, which means that you can take several trips to the Schengen Zone within 3 years. If your ETIAS has expired you will have to file an application for a new one.