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Business News/ News / World/  ETIAS to soon become compulsory for Europe travel, here's how it will impact you
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ETIAS to soon become compulsory for Europe travel, here's how it will impact you

Despite efforts by the EU to inform travellers about the new system and application procedures, many remain confused about how ETIAS will affect them and its purpose

ETIAS is not a visa. It is an online system that will screen travellers from visa-exempt countries before their arrival in the Schengen Area (AP)Premium
ETIAS is not a visa. It is an online system that will screen travellers from visa-exempt countries before their arrival in the Schengen Area (AP)

From next years, travellers from over 60 countries that are currently allowed to visit the Schengen Area without a visa will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation. The launch of the ETIAS system, which has been postponed multiple times, is unlikely to be postponed again. And hence, travellers should prepare to apply for an ETIAS authorisation starting in 2024. 

Despite efforts by the EU to inform travellers about the new system and application procedures, many remain confused about how ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) will affect them and its purpose. Here is a look at what it actually is.

What is ETIAS? 

Many are confusing ETIAS as a visa. ETIAS is not a visa. It is an online system that will screen travellers from visa-exempt countries before their arrival in the Schengen Area, with the aim of improving border security and reducing illegal migration.

ETIAS and Schengen Visa are two different travel documents required for traveling to certain European countries, and they have significant differences in terms of application process, required documents, fees, and validity period.

How to apply for ETIAS?

The ETIAS is a simpler and more straightforward process, where travelers from eligible countries can apply online and receive authorization to enter the Schengen Area. The application process takes around 10 minutes, and applicants need to provide their personal and passport details, travel information, and answer some security-related questions. There is no need for an interview or any physical documentation, and the fee for an ETIAS is significantly lower than a Schengen visa.

How long is it valid?

ETIAS allows travelers to enter and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, and it is valid for 3 years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

What is the cost for ETIAS?

An ETIAS will cost only €7, which is at least one time cheaper than all other travel authorisations of systems operated by other countries. Moreover, travellers won’t have to obtain a new ETIAS every time they travel, as they can use the same one over and over again, as long as it is valid.

The idea of creating ETIAS is more of a security measure. “We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way we will know who is travelling to Europe before they even get here," the then-EU Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker had said presenting the proposal.

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Published: 02 Mar 2023, 08:24 PM IST
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