European Union To Start Charging Visitors from 50+ Countries
The European Union has announced that starting next year it will start charging a fee for visitors from many countries including the United States.
The fee is part of the ETIAS program, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. The European Union has created this program to protect and strengthen its borders. The main goal of ETIAS for Europe is to identify possible threats or risks associated with visitors traveling to any of the Schengen Area countries.
The ETIAS travel authorization will be needed to enter a Schengen member country. From May 2023, all visitors that do not need a visa to enter Europe will be expected to register with ETIAS. Nothing changes for those who previously needed a visa to enter the EU.
The ETIAS visa waiver has been designed for short-term stays of up to 90 days and will cost €7 ($7.40) for all persons aged between 18 and 70. It’s not clear what the pricing will be for those under 18, or over 70 years old.
Tourism and business travelers will be expected to have an approved ETIAS when traveling to any of Schengen Area countries plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania which are in the process of joining the Schengen Area. ETIAS authorization be valid for an unlimited number of entries over three years.
How ETIAS Works
ETIAS will be available online for all visa-exempt travelers who wish to visit one or more countries in the Schengen zone. Travelers need to meet the ETIAS requirements in order to complete and receive an ETIAS travel authorization.
To apply online for the ETIAS, applicants need a valid passport, an email address, and a debit or credit card to pay for the €7 application fee.
The ETIAS application requests that travelers complete basic biographic information including full name, date of birth, country of residency, and passport details. At the end of the process, there will be a set of security and health questions.
Most applications will be processed within minutes. All applications are checked across a series of security databases, among them, SIS, VIS, EUROPOL DATA, Interpol, and more. ETIAS has its unique screening rules and a watchlist. Once an application has been revised, the applicant will receive a confirmation message with the travel authorization sent to the email address provided.
Schengen Area Countries
There are currently 26 countries that are part of the Schengen area. 22 of them are European Union countries:
- Czech Republic
And the other four are non-EU member states: