Categories Europe News Travel

US Travelers to Europe Will Need ETIAS Authorization

In an upcoming change to transatlantic travel, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) has officially announced that U.S. passport holders traveling to Europe will need to receive prior authorization to travel starting in spring 2025. This authorization process necessitates the completion of an ETIAS application form and a payment of $8 (€7).

The implementation of these rules was originally scheduled for 2024, but technical issues have caused multiple delays in its rollout. According to the European Council, the primary objective of this system is to enhance internal security, mitigate illegal immigration, and minimize public health risks and border delays.

The processing time for ETIAS applications may take up to two weeks, in cases requiring additional information. Or if an interview is required, it could take as long as 30 days for applicants. If granted, authorizations will be linked to the traveler’s passport and remain valid for up to three years or until the passport’s expiration date.

These new regulations will impact travelers from over 60, currently, visa-free countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, all of whom will be obligated to secure ETIAS authorization before entering European territory.

Additionally, the European Council’s Justice and Home Affairs Council has confirmed that another travel requirement for Europe-bound travelers, known as the Entry/Exit system, is set to be introduced in fall 2024. The Entry/Exit system, despite its own delays, will modernize the process by recording travelers’ biometric data, such as fingerprints and facial scans, thus eliminating the need for passport stamping.

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