Travel and Leisure

What is the Purpose Behind the New Europe Travel Authorization

If you plan on travelling to Europe, you are going to have to make sure that you apply for the ETIAS travel authorization before you go. It stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and it is an electronic authorization that all visitors need to obtain before they can enter any country in the European Union. 

The good news is that once you get your ETIAS approval, it is valid for up to three years at a time, so you won’t have to worry about getting it renewed over and over again as you travel around the EU.

Why is ETIAS Required

The ETIAS is a new electronic system that has been established in order to: ensure smoother crossing of borders and more accurate identification, screening and verification of third-country nationals before entry into the Schengen area. 

The system will streamline border checks for non-EU visitors.  It also aims to reduce paperwork, waiting times at the border and costs. In addition, it provides an efficient way of gathering information on visa applicants’ identity prior to their arrival in the EU.

When will it be Available

All EU Member States will have the responsibility to implement it before November 1, 2020. That said, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania will have an additional five years deadline of October 31, 2025. 

The ETIAS Europe travel authorization is being introduced in order to strengthen borders by preventing potential terrorist attacks, while still allowing visa-free travel for people who are low risk. Countries who do not apply for ETIAS might be subject to a refusal at the border if they do not meet all conditions listed on the list of reasons why a person might be refused entry into the European Union.

Countries Required to get this Visa

Beginning in 2021, citizens of countries that are on this list will need an European Travel Information and Authorisation System visa before they can enter the Schengen Area. 

Applicants should apply for the visa at least 72 hours before their scheduled departure, as long as they have all of their paperwork in order.

Does this Visa Replace Existing Visas

No, ETIAS will be an additional layer of security for visa-exempt travellers that come from countries with a low prevalence of travellers coming to the EU. Countries are still able to travel without applying if they fit into any one of these categories: they are citizens of an EU country, they hold a Schengen visa, or have previously held a long-term residence permit. 

Those people need only show their ID and boarding pass at border control in order to be allowed in. According to the European Commission, the ETIAS system aims to reduce illegal immigration, improve public security and fight terrorism.  

It is also supposed to make it easier for law enforcement officials in different member states by allowing them access to information about a traveller before he or she enters their territory. The new requirement should also help customs officers spot suspicious individuals more easily.

How much does an ETIAS cost and how do I Pay for it

If you are from Canada, Japan, or another country that does not need a visa for travel to Europe, your pass will be valid for three years. If you are from one of the 45 countries who needs a visa for travel to Europe, your pass will be valid for five years. The cost of an ETIAS depends on where you are applying. For Canadians and Japanese citizens it is €7 while South Africans must pay a fee of €14.

How long can I stay in the EU with an ETIAS Visa

Currently, ETIAs are valid for 3 years, though if you want more time in Europe, an extension is possible. Extensions will be subject to each EU country’s individual immigration policies and requirements. 

If a visa holder does not extend their ETIAS Europe visa, they can re-apply for another visa at any point before their current one expires. If a person does not renew their ETIAS before it expires, they must then apply for a Schengen Visa again from scratch.

Will Children Need their own ETIAS Visa for Holiday

When travelling with a child, even if they are travelling with you, they will need their own ETIAS visa. For children under 12 years old and travelling within the EU, as long as they are not departing from any one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan or Ukraine. 

If they are leaving from one of these countries then there is no need for them to have an ETIAS visa. However, if your child is aged between 12-18 years old and travelling by themselves then they will need an ETIAS Visa too.

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