In 2025, U.S. passport holders will have a new step to consider before traveling to Europe: obtaining authorization through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).
Originally planned for 2024, the EU decided to push the initiation of these new requirements to 2025. This shift means that the current privilege of visa-free access that U.S. nationals have to most European Union countries will undergo a change.
The ETIAS system, comparable to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), is designed to bolster security measures and ensure a more streamlined entry process for visitors.
What you need to know about ETIAS
- What is ETIAS? It’s an electronic travel authorization tied to an individual’s passport. This allows short-term visits to European nations, up to 90 days within any 180-day span. However, possessing an ETIAS doesn’t assure immediate entry. A border official will still determine eligibility upon arrival.
- How to Apply: Travelers can easily apply for ETIAS online through the official website or a dedicated mobile app. The application fee stands at $7.79, though some might be eligible for fee exemptions.
- Validity: An approved ETIAS can last up to three years or until the associated passport’s expiration date – whichever occurs sooner. It’s crucial for visitors to ensure their ETIAS remains valid throughout their stay. Plus, they can exit and re-enter as often as desired, provided they don’t exceed a 90-day stay within a 180-day timeframe.