The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is a visa waiver for travellers from ‘third countries’ wanting to enter Europe’s Schengen Area from mid-2025.
This will apply to non-EU nationals from visa-exempt countries travelling to the EU for short-term stays. It will be a mandatory condition for entry to the Schengen states via air, sea or overland.
How will it work?
The ETIAS is an electronic authorisation system, similar to the United States’ ESTA and Canada’s eTA systems. It will be checked alongside travel documents by border guards when crossing the EU border. Unless exempt, citizens will be refused entry at the border if they do not have an ETIAS once in operation.
It does not apply to those with a residence permit or residence card for EU countries. Family members of EU citizens or of nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are also exempt. Additionally, you will not need an ETIAS if you enter and exit Europe with a passport of the member EU country (if you have dual nationality, for instance).
How do you apply?
Applications are set to open later this year. Travellers will need to fill in an online application form via the official ETIAS website or the mobile app. The EU Commission states that “most applications are processed within minutes”, but can take up to four days. If further checks are needed beyond that, the issuing of the authorisation may take up to 30 days.
You will need to have a travel document, such as a passport, and payment card at hand when applying. The travel document should not expire in less than three months and should not be older than 10 years. When filling out the application, you will be asked to provide:
- Personal information including name, address, date and place of birth, nationality, parents’ first names, email address and phone number
- Travel document details
- Education and occupation details
- Intended travel and stay details
- Details about any criminal convictions, past travels to war or conflict zones and whether you have been required to leave the territory of any country
Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email which will include your ETIAS application number. Once processed, you will receive another email informing you of its outcome. You will not need a print copy as the airline’s check-in staff and border guards can access it within the system.
The ETIAS will be linked to your travel document, so make sure you enter the correct passport details and are carrying the same document when travelling. Note that you will need to apply for a new ETIAS if you change your passport for any reason. If your application is refused, you will receive reasons for the decision and the right to appeal.
How long is it valid for?
The ETIAS will be valid for three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. It permits entry into any of the 30 countries as many times as you wish for short-term stays (90 days in any 180-day period).
How much will it cost?
There will be a one-off fee of €7 for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70 (it is free of charge for those below and above this age group).
Do you need an ETIAS if you are transiting through a European airport?
No. You only need one if you leave the international transit area and enter the territory of any of the listed European countries.
Which countries does it apply to?
- Czech Republic
See further information on the ETIAS here.