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It’s been discussed for some time and now it looks like a timeline has been set. Visitors heading to Schengen Area countries will be required to fill out a form ahead of travel. It will be used to vet travelers for security or migration risks.
The new program, called the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will require visitors who are not EU Nationals and are ages 18 to 70 to pay around $8 (it’s valid for two years). ETIAS was originally supposed to be in place in 2021, bur it slipped to 2024 and now 2025. A firm date has yet to be set and the ETIAS website states: “It is expected that the European Travel Information and Authorization System will be operational from mid-2025.” There are 30 countries where this authorization will be required, including: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The UK will have its program called the Electronic Travel Authorization. Both of these seem to be in response to the US program known as the Electronic System Travel Authorization, which has been in place for several years. All of these systems seem to be in response to each other and in my opinion are cash grabs. I can’t see anyone being deterred by paying around $8 and see lots of issues arising from people that forget to apply before travel. Imagine getting to the airport (without having completed this program) and being told that you can’t fly. I expect we’ll see a lot of that and the poor airport employees will face backlash.
Anthony’s Take: This is just one more thing to check off before traveling. I’m happy that it’s a two-year period and not per trip.
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