Travel to Europe Needs an ETIAS from 2024 (and why this is a positive)

Update: Seeing news that the implementation of ETIAS may be delayed… will update again here once we get some clear (official) information.


It’s hard to escape from the grumbling online when it comes to the new ETIAS authorisation required for European travel.

I get it.

The added bureaucracy, cost (well, seven euros) and rules and regulations are just another barrier to smooth and easy travel. When you investigate the ‘why?’ of this electronic visa, multiple positives start to emerge.

Log queues at immigration, especially in France have caused misery for millions of travellers recently. My view is that the new ETIAS visa process will mean a quick check and you are through – both for us Brits and those from further afield.

This page lays out the basics of how to get your ETIAS, and the pros and cons.

ETIAS: The Basics You Need to Know

ETIAS stands for ‘European Travel and Authorisation System.’

It will start to operate in time for the implementation date of Jan 1st, 2024.

Once this system is running, you’ll need to apply for a travel authorisation before you head to Europe. All countries in the European Union will make an approved authorisation a pre-requisite for travel. You won’t be able to board a plane or ferry without one and if you turn up overland, you won’t be granted entry.

Full List of ETIAS CountriesMost ETIAS authorisations will be granted immediately after application, as long as you have a valid passport. It is possible for regular applications to take up to four days, and longer if additional information is required. You need to pay 7 Euros.

Once granted, your authorisation lasts for 3 years – or until your passport expires. You need to reapply once your passport expires.

The old rules of only staying for 90 days in any 180-day period still apply.

Why the ETIAS Was Created – And Why It is a Positive for British Travellers

This system was created to give European countries better visibility of visitation and migration patterns.

By mandating travel approvals and tracking the entry and exit of the passport associated with each one, any anomalies will be tracked. This includes people overstaying. While Brits migrating to the EU is not really the nut they are trying to crack, it will have a positive knock-on effect for us.

This system will simplify the decision of individual officials at immigration desks.

By checking your passport and ETIAS approval, they’ll see you already met the requirements for entry. They will also know that you know your entry has been tracked.

Germany Passport Queues

Remind You of Anything? The ETIAS is the Same as the US ESTE System

I have been happily using the US ESTA system for years.

This is a single application, which lasts 2 years. You then use it to get into the US as many times as you wish within their 90 days / 180 rules. ESTA gets checked before you board a flight, and you will not be allowed to travel if you do not have one.

US Citizens have been enjoying visa free travel to the EU. Whether the friction of needing an ETIAS will stop them from coming over remains to be seen.


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