Starting in 2025, visa-exempt travelers from over 60 countries who wish to travel to or through Schengen area countries will have to obtain an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) travel authorization before they travel. ETIAS authorization will work something like the U.S. ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) program that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States visa-free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
ETIAS is not yet implemented. Therefore, you cannot yet apply for ETIAS authorization. Once implemented, an ETIAS authorization will cost € 7, and will be valid for three years.
The ETIAS program impacts only individuals who are eligible to enter visa-free to one of the ETIAS countries for a purpose permissible under the visa-free travel rules. It does not impose new visa requirements, but does add a requirement to have a valid ETIAS authorization before embarking on their trip. Individuals who currently require a visa to enter one of these countries for a specific purpose will continue to need the proper Schengen visa.
To determine if you will need to apply for ETIAS, ask the following three questions:
- Where am I traveling to or through?
- How long will I be there?
- Does my home country allow for visa-free travel into the Schengen Area (for under 90 days)?