It’s never too early to start planning a big trip. But if you’ve got a European destination on your 2024 wish list, you’ll need to do a little extra preparation, as the EU plans to introduce new document requirements in the first half of the year.
According to the Huffington Post, “the European Travel Information and Authorization System is now scheduled for implementation in the first half of 2024.” The new requirement isn’t a visa exactly, but will require travelers to provide more information that many are used to – Americans can currently visit most European countries without any advanced registration.
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“Once approved, an ETIAS authorization is valid for up to three years and multiple entries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period,” noted HiffPo.
The ETIAS program is not a visa and does not guarantee entry into Europe. However, it will be required for all visa-exempt travelers before boarding a flight or ferry to Europe. To apply for an ETIAS travel authorization, travelers have to create an account and pay a processing fee of roughly $7.80 via the EU’s website.
Travelers can expect to receive their ETIAS travel authorization within minutes of applying. However, it could take up to 30 days for an application to be processed during especially busy times.
If your travel authorization is denied, you will be contacted by the ETIAS authorities and explain the reason for the denial. You may be able to reapply for approval after addressing the issue that led to the denial.
To ensure smooth travel into Europe, the EITAS website recommends the following checklist:
• Apply for an ETIAS travel authorization well in advance – before you buy your ticket or book your accommodation.
• Make sure your passport details correspond to those in your ETIAS authorization – you will be refused boarding and entry at the border if they do not match.
• Make sure your ETIAS travel authorization is still valid.
• Check how long you can stay in the European countries requiring ETIAS.
• Make sure your passport is valid for three months after your intended departure from the European countries requiring ETIAS – you will be refused entry at the border if it is not (exceptions apply).