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ETIAS: What You Need to Know About Europe’s New Travel Pass

It’s coming. Say hello to ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorization System. Europe’s new travel pass is set to go live in 2025, and with it, the way you travel to Europe is changing. But worry not—travel to Europe will still be just as easy in 2025 as it is today. That said, you’ll need to complete a few new steps to do it. Here’s everything you need to know about ETIAS to make your future European trips hassle-free.

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Table of Contents

What Is ETIAS?

Before diving into what it is, let’s get what it isn’t out of the way. Though some are calling the ETIAS a visa, it’s nothing like what you have to fill out to live or work in Europe. In truth, it’s a lot less complicated. ETIAS is a travel authorization that allows visa-exempt nationals to travel to Schengen-zone countries for short-term stays. Starting in 2025, travelers from roughly 60 visa-exempt countries will be required to register and pay a fee if they wish to travel to Europe, whether it’s their first time visiting or their fiftieth time.

European Countries Requiring ETIAS:

  • 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
  • Switzerland

In addition to the travel authorization, travelers must still provide a valid passport and other travel documents to verify they meet all entry conditions. So, rather than replacing the current requirements, ETIAS is an additional entry requirement you’ll need to account for on future trips. But with that said, traveling to Europe doesn’t have to be any more complicated than it is now. 

How to Apply for ETIAS

While ETIAS may be new, it’s not entirely foreign. In fact, it’s similar to other travel authorizations, like ESTA for travelers coming to the US and the NZeTA for visitors to New Zealand. The application process is designed to be straightforward and easy to use, with travelers able to apply online. The application will require travelers to answer personal information, travel details, and security questions before paying a nominal fee of €7 (just around $7.50). After travelers submit their applications, they’ll receive their authorization via email, usually within a few short minutes.

ETIAS Requirements

Before applying, double-check you have everything you need for a quick and easy application. All travelers will need a valid travel document to which your ETIAS can be linked. For most, this will be a biometric passport, also called an e-passport. You’ll also need your travel plans handy, as you may be required to fill out further trip details, including which countries you plan to visit. Lastly, you’ll need a credit card, debit card, or another online payment form to pay the application fee.

ETIAS FAQs: All You Need to Know

Looking for answers to your biggest questions? Want the lowdown on everything ETIAS? From who need apply to how much it costs, here’s your quick and easy guide to the new European travel system.

Will US Citizens Need ETIAS?

Yes, starting in 2025, US citizens and travelers from 59 other countries will be expected to apply for the ETIAS before traveling to Schengen-zone countries. This requirement applies to visitors of all ages, so parents traveling with children under 18 will have to submit an ETIAS application on their behalf. Once submitted, the ETIAS travel authorization permits short stays of 90 days within any 180-day period.

Do I Need to Apply for ETIAS Now?

If you have a trip to Europe scheduled before 2026, you’re in the clear. ETIAS is currently set to launch in mid-2025, though this date has already been pushed back several times. Once the ETIAS goes into effect, there will be a six-month transitional period. During this time, travelers will be encouraged to apply for their ETIAS travel authorization; however, they will still be allowed to cross borders without it. Following the transitional period, a grace period will commence, during which all travelers must have an ETIAS travel authorization unless it is their first time visiting Europe since the end of the transitional period.

How Much Does the Application Cost?

The ETIAS application costs €7, or roughly $7.50, so travelers will want to factor this into their budget for future European trips. However, there is some good news here. While the fee applies to all adults traveling to Europe, there are exceptions. Children under 18 and seniors over 70 are exempt from paying the fee, as are family members of EU citizens. So, you won’t have to save up too much to cover the new ETIAS fees. Truthfully, it’ll feel like a drop in the bucket and well worth the expense when it gets you access to some of the world’s most stunning and storied destinations. 

Next Vacay Pro-Tip: Score a flight deal with Next Vacay and get hundreds of dollars in savings to pay your ETIAS fee and so much more. 

Do I Need to Apply for ETIAS Every Time I Travel to Europe?

Travelers can rest easy knowing they don’t have to apply for ETIAS every time they want to travel to Europe. Once approved, ETIAS lasts for three years or until the attached passport expires. During those three years of validity, visitors can travel to any country within the Schengen zone, either on a single trip or over multiple visits, granting travelers access to a diverse range of countries, cultures, and histories stretching from the sunny coasts of Portugal to the frozen lakes of Finland. 

ETIAS Travel Checklist

So, what do you need to do to ensure your European getaway won’t be put on hold? Here is a quick and easy checklist for ensuring you have everything you need to apply for ETIAS, get approval, and breeze through customs easier than if you have Global Entry.

  1. Apply Early: Travelers heading to Europe should apply at least 96 hours before their trip to allow for any unforeseen delays. 
  2. Double-Check Your Information: The information entered on your application must match your travel documents. Inaccurate information could lead to delays or a denial of your ETIAS travel authorization. 
  3. Prepare Your Documents: Your passport/travel documents for authorization need to be valid and up-to-date.
  4. Stay Informed: Requirements can change at any time. Check requirements before you book, during your planning stage, and prior to flying out to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and information.

The ETIAS application process was designed to be simple. So long as you apply well in advance and keep your documents and information up-to-date, your application process will be hassle-free.

Next Vacay: Your Ticket to a European Getaway

The ticket to Europe isn’t an ETIAS travel authorization; it’s a Next Vacay deal in your inbox. With incredible savings on flights hand-vetted by a team of real people, who love a good deal almost as much as they love to travel, you’ll be jetting off to Europe as often as your heart desires and your ETIAS pass permits. Here’s your ticket to a Europe Getaway: pair your ETIAS travel authorization with a Next Vacay membership and prepare to fall in love with Europe over and over and over again.

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