ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is a travel authorization system being introduced by the European Union. ETIAS is designed to enhance security and safety within the Schengen Area, which is a group of European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their shared borders. The exact date of implementation has not been set yet. However, it is widely expected to become live in 2024.
ETIAS will require travelers from visa-exempt countries such as the United States to obtain an online travel authorization before their trip to any member country of the European Union. This authorization is not a visa. It is a screening process that takes travelers' information and runs it through various security databases. The process is expected to typically take anywhere from 10 minutes to 96 hours. If additional documentation is required from the applicant, processing times can potentially take up to four weeks.
The ETIAS must be applied for online prior to arrival to the EU. Each eligible traveler, regardless of age, will require an ETIAS to visit EU member countries. The cost of an ETIAS is €7, however, individuals under the age of 18, or over the age of 70, will not need to pay the fee. It will be good for three years, but if your passport expires in those three years, you will need to apply again.
The following data will be required for each ETIAS application: personal biometric data (e.g., name, gender, date of birth, etc.), passport or travel document information, EU member state of entry, background questions on an applicant's health, criminal record as well as previous EU immigration history.
Upon submission online, each application will be checked across various data bases. Usually, 95 percent of applications will receive a decision within minutes of submission.