Europe’s new travel demands, which require U.S. citizens to register and pay a fee before entering, have been delayed again until 2025.
The new requirement and its filing system—the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)—was scheduled to go into effect in 2024, but according to an October 19 announcement from the Council of the European Union, the system “will be ready to enter into operation in Spring 2025.”
This newest ETIAS setback is the third time the program has been delayed. Its initial target launch date was set for 2021, before being subsequently pushed back to 2023, 2024, and now 2025.
The online travel authorization will apply to travelers visiting 30 different European countries, including popular spots like France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Americans will not be permitted to visit without prior authorization.
In addition to registration, the ETIAS authorization carries a fee of €7 per traveler. Persons under the age of 18 or over the age of 70 are exempt from the fee.
Most applications will be processed within minutes, or within four days at the latest, according to the EU. However, Europe’s governing body adds that if travelers are asked to provide additional information, documentation, or to complete an interview with national authorities, processing times could take an additional 30 days.
An individual’s ETIAS authorization will remain valid for three years, or until their passport expires, meaning travelers with a valid authorization won’t need to apply for a new one with each trip.
ETIAS was initially proposed by the EU’s European Commission in 2016, in order to bolster security checks on individuals from over 60 nations who can currently visit Europe without applying for a visa—a similar system to the one enacted by the U.S. in 2008.
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