Visa Waiver: European Union Delays Launch of ETIAS until 2024

The ETIAS is a visa waiver scheme that aims to digitally screen and track travellers entering and leaving EU countries, in order to strengthen its border security.
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The European Union (EU) recently announced that the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), a visa waiver scheme will be postponed to 2024.

The ETIAS is a visa waiver programme that aims to digitally screen and track visitors entering and exiting EU countries in order to improve border security. Under the scheme, all passport holders from non-European Union countries will be required to obtain permission to enter the European Union prior to their trip.

It is worth mentioning that initially, the scheme was supposed to go into effect in November 2023.

ETIAS

What is the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)?

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is not a visa but rather a visa waiver. Similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) of the United States, the system aims to be a fast online authorisation for non-EU nationals.

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It will be mandatory for all countries currently in the Schengen Zone, or who currently have visa-free access to the Zone, which includes over 60 countries.

Which countries is ETIAS applicable for?

The ETIAS system applies to over 60 countries that don’t currently need a visa to visit the European Union. These include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Below is the full list of all 62 countries which need to apply for ETIAS:

Serial NoCountry
1Albania
2Andorra
3Antigua and Barbuda
4Argentina
5Australia
6Bahamas
7Barbados
8Bosnia and Herzegovina
9Brazil
10Brunei
11Canada
12Chile
13Colombia
14Costa Rica
15Dominica
16El Salvador
17Georgia
18Grenada
19Guatemala
20Honduras
21Hong Kong
22Israel
23Japan
24Kiribati
25Macau
26Macedonia
27Malaysia
28Marshall Islands
29Mauritius
30Mexico
31Micronesia
32Moldova
33Monaco
34Montenegro
35New Zealand
36Nicaragua
37Palau
38Panama
39Paraguay
40Peru
41Saint Kitts and Nevis
42Saint Lucia
43Saint Vincent
44Samoa
45San Marino
46Serbia
47Seychelles
48Singapore
49Solomon Islands
50South Korea
51Taiwan
52Timor Leste
53Tonga
54Trinidad and Tobago
55Tuvalu
56Ukraine
57United Arab Emirates
58United States of America
59Uruguay
60Vanautu
61Vatican City
62Venezuela

What is the difference between ETIAS and a visa?

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will not be a visa. Additionally, individuals issued a valid visa will still be able to travel to the European Union states.

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What is the purpose of the ETIAS system?

The ETIAS system will check security credentials and charge a fee to travellers visiting EU member countries for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes.

Through the system, the EU aims “to strengthen its border security as well as digitally screen and track travellers entering and leaving EU countries”, it said.

ETIAS Cost, Application Requirements, and Validity

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will cost 7 euros and will cover an applicant for three years. Notably, The cost is only valid for adults over 18 years old and those under will not have to pay any fees. However, every traveller and even infant needs ETIAS.

The ETIAS authorization will begin processing once payment is received, and applicants will receive a decision from the system within 96 hours or less. If there are any problems with the ETIAS, the application will be manually processed, which could take up to 96 hours (4 days) or up to 2 weeks.

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To apply for ETIAS, you will need a valid passport and citizenship in an ETIAS-eligible country. It is recommended to apply for ETIAS as early as possible to avoid any hassle.

ETIAS is valid for three years or until the travel document registered during the application expires, whichever comes first. This means that if your passport expires before the three-year period is up, your ETIAS will also expire and you will have to apply for a new one using your new passport information.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the ETIAS system has been delayed until 2024, giving non-European Union travellers more time to prepare for the new requirements. The ETIAS will be a mandatory visa waiver programme aimed at improving border security and digitally screening and tracking travellers entering and exiting EU countries.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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