By Robert Curley
The European Union announced that the proposed European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will go into effect “sometime in 2024.” Approved by the EU in 2016, the ETIAS program was originally slated to begin in January 2021, then delayed until January 2023.
When it does finally launch, ETIAS will require Americans, Canadians and visitors to Europe from a total of 63 “visa exempt” nations to complete an entry application prior to boarding an aircraft, boat, or vehicle for Europe. The requirement includes travelers who are merely transiting one of the 27 EU member nations en route to another destination.
Applying for entry via ETIAS will include a nonrefundable fee of 7 Euros (about US$7.40 at the current exchange rate). Approval for entry is good for up to 90
days in Europe.
Travelers will be advised to complete the ETIAS application 96 hours prior to travel. The form requires a variety of disclosures, including the applicant’s name, date and place of birth, nationality, parents’ first names and contact information. Also required are passport details—passports must not expire within 90 days of entry into Europe—education and occupation information, reason for visit, and intended length of stay.
Travelers also will be asked about any prior criminal convictions, travel to war zones and whether they have previously been required to leave another country.
Filling out the form will not guarantee admission to Europe: Immigration officials may refuse entry but must state a reason, and there will be an appeals process.