In our recent article about the new UK Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme, we mentioned that the EU were planning on introducing a similar system. Now, the details about that scheme, the ETIAS, have been revealed.


By acquiring an ETIAS travel authorisation, you will be able to enter these European countries as often as you wish for short term stays. This is usually up to 90 days within any 180 day period.


While there has been no specific date announced, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System will be introduced “from 2024”, meaning that there isn’t long until travellers will be required to apply. In total, the number of people from visa exempt countries who will need to apply to travel to an EU country numbers 1.4 billion.


The ETIAS is linked to your passport and will remain valid for up to years. However, if your passport expires then you will also need to get a new ETIAS.


Which countries require an ETIAS?


The scheme will only affect certain travellers planning to travel to one of the thirty European countries (with the exception of Ireland) involved in the scheme.


These include the other 26 EU states, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.


Do UK nationals need to apply?


As visa exempt nationals, UK citizens will also be required to apply for an ETIAS to visit any of the thirty European countries on the list. If they wish to remain in the EU country, then they must meet the entry requirements following the UK’s exit from the EU.


Nevertheless, those UK nationals and their family members who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement are exempt from ETIAS. This includes most UK nationals who were living in an EU country before 1st January 2021.


These UK nationals should hold documents which prove their status if they wish to live in an EU country and travel to other European countries which require ETIAS.


How to apply?


The best way to apply for the travel authorisation is via the ETIAS mobile app or the official website. The cost of the ETA will be 7 euros, however those who are over the age of 70 or below the age of 18 will be exempt from paying. Despite this, parents or guardians will still need to complete applications on behalf of minors.


While most applications will be processed within minutes, it’s possible that some applications will take as long as four days to be approved. Further, it is possible that the period will be extended by up to 14 days if you are required to provide further information or documents, as well as up to 30 days if you are invited in for an interview. It is therefore imperative that you apply for your ETIAS long before you are due to travel.


It’s important to have the following details when you are filling out the application form for an ETIAS.


  • Personal information
  • Travel documents such as your passport number
  • Education and occupation
  • Intended travel itinerary
  • Any criminal convictions
  • Past travels to war or conflict zones
  • Whether the applicant has been the subject of a decision requiring them to leave the territory of any country


What happens after I apply?


Following your application you will receive an email which confirms the application submission as well as your unique ETIAS application number. You should keep hold of this number for future reference.


Following the processing of your application, you will receive another email which notifies you of the outcome. As advised above, this usually only takes a few minutes but can take up to 30 days.


It is vital that you carry the same passport that you use to apply for an ETIAS with. If you fail to do so, then you will not be allowed to board your mode of transport or enter any of the European countries which require an ETIAS.


Can I appeal if refused?


If your application is refused, or if your ETIAS travel authorisation is revoked or annulled, you will be notified of the reason for the refusal, as well as the authority that made the decision.


Nevertheless, you will be given the right to appeal this decision. The email you receive about the decision will contain the information necessary to appeal, including the European country you should appeal to and the process involved.


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