What is ETIAS?
ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorization System, coming in mid-2025.
If you've heard of ETIAS and are worried about how it might affect your European travel plans, let me assure you there's nothing to worry about.
Currently, the US requires those visitors who are not required to obtain a visa to obtain authorization to enter the country using the ESTA program. ESTA is a simple, affordable authorization, and European visitors to the US are used to getting it before traveling to the US. ETIAS is simply the EU version of this program, and it's also simple and affordable with a cost of just 7€ per person.
What does it mean for travelers to France and other EU countries? Once the program goes into effect, travelers from North America, Australia, New Zealand (and perhaps others) will be required to submit a request to enter the EU prior to arrival. As for the effective date, as of December 2023, the program is expected to go into effect in mid-2025. The effective date has been pushed out repeatedly and will be updated here if it changes again. Click on the link at the bottom of this post to go directly to the EU website for the latest information.
From the website: "The system will check the security credentials and charge a fee to travellers visiting EU member countries for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes. Travellers who currently visit Europe visa-free are able to enter EU and Schengen Member countries cost-free and without any digital security screening prior to their arrival to Europe. ETIAS is not a visa, and is more accurately referred to as a visa-waiver. The ETIAS, like the ESTA, is a travel authorisation for travellers not requiring a visa to visit Europe. Under the ETIAS, these visitors will undergo additional security checks prior to being permitted to enter the EU. The cost of an ETIAS is €7, however, individuals under the age of 18, or over the age of 70, will not need to pay the fee."
This is simply a border security measure. Also from the ETIAS site: "Usually, 95% of applications will receive a decision within minutes of submission. If an ETIAS application is approved, it will be issued for a period of three years or the date of the applicant's passport expiry, whichever date is sooner. Processing times can take up to 96 hours if additional checks are required."
For additional information, go to this official EU website: https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias_en