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ETIAS: the new “visa” to enter the EU

What is ETIAS? How do I apply? When will it come into effect? How much will it cost? We tell you all you need to know about this new travel authorisation to enter any of the 26 Schengen member countries.

What is ETIAS?

It’s a travel authorisation document that will speed up the entry to the European Union of travellers from over 60 countries, including almost all Latin American countries, the US and Canada. It isn’t actually a visa as such – just a visa waiver for stays of up to 90 days.

Thanks to the ETIAS system, governments will be able to screen travellers before they arrive in the EU. It’s similar to the ESTA in the US and the ETA in Canada.

Can I travel all over Europe with this permit?

When you apply for the ETIAS, you only need to state the first country you are going to be visiting. Then travellers will be able to go from one country to another within the Schengen Area, for up to 90 days.

How do I apply?

The form can be filled in online, at least 3 days in advance.

How much will it cost?

It looks like it will cost just under €10 and you can pay online by debit or credit card.

What documentation will be required to apply for the permit?

Citizens from the 60+ eligible countries will need a passport which is valid for at least six months from the expected date of entry.

Will the ETIAS be valid to study or work in Europe?

No, the ETIAS is only valid for people travelling to the EU for tourism or business purposes. There are other permits you need to request if you’re going to work or study.

When does the ETIAS come into effect?

It will be implemented by the end of 2022.

Will UK citizens have to apply for the ETIAS after Brexit?

Yes. British citizens won’t need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area, but from 2022 they will need to apply for the ETIAS. You can read all the information about travelling to the UK in our Brexit post.

As well as ETIAS, you may need other documents to travel. See all information in our documentation post.

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