At the end of 2022, British and American travellers will need to pay to enter the EU Schengen Zone, when the European Travel and Authorisation System (ETIAS) comes into force. Jenny Southan reports

The ETIAS system was originally meant to launch at the beginning of 2021 but was delayed. Now it looks set to arrive at the end of 2022 [editor’s note: it will now be 2024], at which point all “third-country” nationals will be required to fill out a form and pay €7 to travel to the EU.

The ETIAS is a visa-waiver scheme similar to the current ESTA system used in the US. The form will act as a travel pre-authorisation system to allow people from 61 third countries outside of the Schengen Area – including the UK and US – to enter the region without a full visa.

If the pandemic is still on-going, this will be another piece of admin to worry about, in addition to a vaccine passport, test results and health declaration, for example.

According to the EU Commission, most applications will be approved within a few minutes but if “further checks” are needed, it could take up to 30 days for a passenger to get approval to travel.

On the plus side, once a traveller has registered, the authorisation will remain valid for three years, or until their passport expires.

Before Brexit, British citizens were given complete freedom of movement across Europe. Now they are limited to staying no more than 90 days out of every 180 during the year, even if they own a holiday home there.
The European Commission has said that they expect the scheme to be in place by the end of 2022 and will become a mandatory requirement by 2023.

The European Commission confirmed the payment and pre-registration will apply for any trips to all Schengen area states, plus the non-Schengen micro-states of Andorra and Monaco.

This means the ETIAS requirements will be in place for any trip to Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, San Marino, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland Vatican City.

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