Starting in 2025, many visitors to countries in the European Union will be required to apply for an electronic travel authorization, known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), prior to travel.
Once implemented, ETIAS authorization will become a compulsory requirement for travellers from visa-exempt countries who wish to visit Europe.
If you have a trip to Europe planned for 2025 and beyond, be sure to give the below guide a read, and then submit your application once the program goes live.
What Are ETIAS Travel Authorizations?
The ETIAS travel authorization is an upcoming mandatory requirement for travellers from visa-exempt countries who wish to visit the European Union and associated countries.
It’s being implemented as a measure to strengthen border security in Europe, which is accomplished by gaining information about passengers prior to their arrival in the area.
It’s important to note that ETIAS isn’t a visa; rather, it’s an electronic travel authorization, which is required for travellers from visa-exempt countries to enter the EU.
If you’re travelling to Europe for long-term stays, for purposes such as business or education, you’ll still need to obtain a visa, as you always would. The ETIAS travel authorization only applies to short-term trips to Europe, for purposes such as tourism.
ETIAS authorizations are similar to electronic travel authorizations required by many other countries, including the ESTA in the United States, the eTA in Canada, and the ETA in Australia, amongst others.
ETIAS authorizations will be required for travellers from the following 61 visa-exempt countries, once implemented:
Once it comes into effect, ETIAS authorizations will be required for travellers from the aforementioned visa-exempt countries, including Canada and the United States, who wish to travel to any of the following 30 countries in Europe:
As it stands, ETIAS applications aren’t being accepted, and we’ll update this article when the program goes live.
Therefore, for the remainder of 2023 through to 2025, before the ETIAS program comes into effect, you won’t need to take any additional steps to visit the EU, aside from the standard entry requirements.
If your ETIAS application is approved, the electronic travel authorization will be attached to your passport details, and it’ll be valid for three years. If your passport expires before the expiry date of your ETIAS, you’ll need to apply for a new ETIAS authorization when you get a new passport.
With an approved ETIAS authorization, you’ll be allowed to travel to any of the above countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day window.
An ETIAS authorization doesn’t guarantee entry into the EU, as you’ll still have to meet the standard entry conditions.
Once you enter, you can move between countries freely, as long as your ETIAS is still valid, and you haven’t exceeded the permissable stay requirements.
ETIAS authorizations won’t be required for EU nationals, as well as a limited number of other individuals. A full list of exemptions can be found on the ETIAS website.
What Are the Requirements to Apply for ETIAS Authorization?
To apply for an ETIAS authorization, you need to adhere to the following requirements:
- You’re a citizen of a visa-exempt country
- You must have a passport that’s valid for at least three months after your intended departure from ETIAS-associated countries
- Your passport was issued in the previous 10 years
- You have a valid e-mail address
If you meet the above requirements, you’re eligible to apply for ETIAS authorization, once the requirement comes into effect.
In addition to your passport details, you’ll also need to provide the following information on your ETIAS application:
- Full name
- Date and place of birth
- Home address
- Parents’ names
- Email address
- Phone number
- Education level
- Current occupation
- Intended travel itinerary and stays in any of ETIAS countries
- Criminal convictions, if any
- Past travels to places of war and conflict
- If you were forced to leave another country
Fortunately, the ETIAS application can be completed online or via the ETIAS mobile app once it’s live, and it should be a relatively painless process for most.
The cost of an ETIAS application is €7 ($7.50 USD, $10 CAD). Travellers under the age of 18 or over 70, as well as family members of EU citizens, are exempt from paying an application fee.
Once submitted, most applications for low-risk travellers should be processed in a few hours, but it may take up to four days. However, if you’re asked to submit additional information, it could take up to 14 days, or even 30 days if you need to attend an interview.
Therefore, it’s recommended to apply for your ETIAS well in advance of your departure date. In fact, since the ETIAS authorization is valid for up to three years, you can submit your application well before you’ve booked flights, which leaves room for any unexpected delays.
If approved, the ETIAS authorization is attached to your passport number, and you’ll need to present the same passport that you used for your ETIAS application to border officers upon your arrival in Europe. You won’t need to bring any other documents to go with your ETIAS, since it’s linked to your passport.
If you’re a resident of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan, there are additional passport requirements, which are listed on the ETIAS website.
It’s worth noting that you can complete an ETIAS application on someone else’s behalf. Just know that you’ll have to provide your contact information, and have completed a signed declaration of representation, for it to be valid.
Starting in 2025, travellers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain an ETIAS authorization before travelling to many countries in Europe.
Once the program goes live, applications can be completed online or through a mobile app, and will cost €7 ($7.50 USD, $10 CAD) per person. Most applications will be processed within a few minutes, but it could take up to 30 days.
While this isn’t an onerous requirement for most, it’s an important step that travellers must complete before arriving. Otherwise, you’ll be at risk of being turned back at the border, or not being allowed to board a flight to Europe in the first place.