American travelers – from next year (2023) – will be required to register before traveling to more than half of the nations in Europe.
Citizens of the U.S. – along with travelers from around 60 other countries – will need to register their details on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). And, they will be required to do this prior to any short visit – that is less than 90 days – that they plan to make to all countries within the Schengen zone.
It is important to note that registering on the ETIAS is not set to be a complicated process, and so American travelers can focus well and truly on their European travel plans – including finding the right transatlantic flight for your trip.
What is ETIAS?
The ETIAS – which is an abbreviation for European Travel Information and Authorisation System – is similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) that non-US citizens are currently required to register on before traveling to the United States of America. Having been in place for many years, any non-US citizen that comes from a country that qualifies for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) is currently required to gain authorization via ESTA before making their way to the United States.
What is the purpose of ETIAS?
Basically, ETIAS is being introduced as an additional method of travel security – with the system allowing authorities within the European Union (EU) to review individuals that are looking to visit any country within the EU zone. The system has been designed to alert authorities of anyone who may be a potential threat to a nation’s security – thus being a useful tool to help reduce potential criminal activity and acts of terrorism.
Who is required to use ETIAS?
As mentioned already, citizens from the U.S. – as well as visitors from 60+ countries – that qualify for visa-free travel to the 26 countries within the Shengen zone.
When will you have to start registering your details on ETIAS?
ETIAS – which should be in full effect by the end of this year (2022) – will require U.S. travelers, as well as those who do not require a visa to visit the 26 nations that make up the Schengen Area, to begin registering their details from May 2023. The system – which has been designed to be extremely user-friendly – will be a requirement for around 1.4 billion travelers that qualify for a visa-free short stay (less than 90 days) to any of the Schengen countries.
What information will you need to register on ETIAS?
The system will require individuals to provide their basic personal information – such as full name, date of birth, registered address and contact details. You will also be asked to confirm information regarding your citizenship, educational and work history, as well as provide details of your travel plans – including where you plan to visit, why you plan to visit there, and the length of time that you are planning to be there for.
There may also be a requirement for you to provide answers to questions relating to your previous travel history and personal background.
Is there any cost to register on ETIAS?
Yes, there is. The cost to register will be 7 Euros (around 8 USD).
How long will it take for your registration to be approved?
In most cases you will receive approval in a matter of minutes after submitting your application.
However, if your application has been flagged – for a particular reason – it may take longer, and potentially up to 30 days for you to receive approval.
Until May of next year (2023) American travelers can continue traveling to Europe without having to even think about registering their details on the ETIAS. Instead, travelers should keep up-to-date with the ever-changing Covid entry requirements for their desired European destination – with some nations having removed all of their entry requirements.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com