Going into effect in 2024, ETIAS is a new travel authorization necessary for travelers to present on entry to the European Union.
Similar to the United States’ ESTA for visitors, the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) is an additional security measure designed to both screen and track visitors who enter or exit countries within the EU. For US passport holders who presently enjoy visa-free entry to the EU and Schengen Member countries, additional security checks will be employed by the EU prior to departure and arrival to validate visa-free entry.
Who should apply?
Travelers to Schengen Member countries will need to apply online in advance of travel to receive their ETIAS. The ETIAS is not a visa – it is a visa-waiver, confirming that a traveler does not pose a security risk to the EU.
What do I need to apply?
Applicants for the ETIAS – including every US passport holder wishing to travel to the EU – will need to provide personal information in the online form including name, passport information, intended EU state of entry, and background questions regarding health, immigration, and any criminal record. Note that you cannot apply for an ETIAS authorization if you do not have an intended EU country of entry. You can, however, change your travel plans after applying.
What happens when I apply?
When you submit your information, it will be cross checked against several security databases, such as Interpol’s SLTD. Only applicants’ whose information shows up in these databases will be manually processed. Otherwise, most applicants are expected to have a decision returned within minutes of submitting the application. The standard fee for submitting this application for the ETIAS is €7, although some exceptions apply.
Once approved, your ETIAS is valid for 3 years, or until your passport expires, whichever occurs first.
Can someone apply on my behalf?
Your provider may submit an application for ETIAS authorization on your behalf. Contact your provider or travel agency to confirm. You will need to sign a Declaration of Representation permitting the provider to complete and submit the application on your behalf. Your provider should provide this form to you, or you can find it on the official EU website for ETIAS.
What else should I know?
Dual citizens or nationals of an EU member state are exempt from applying for the ETIAS authorization.
Remember, the ETIAS is not a visa. If you are traveling to the EU for reasons other than short-term travel, such as to study or work, you will need to apply for the proper visa in addition to applying for an ETIAS authorization.
Where do I apply?
The official site for applying for ETIAS authorization is https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias
You may legitimately apply for ETIAS authorization on 3rd party sites. Be aware that they may collect your data for reasons other than just submitting the ETIAS application.
If you plan to travel to the EU in the future, it is vital that you apply for ETIAS authorization. This authorization is necessary to receive approval for entry on arrival.