The EU’s European Travel Information and Authorisation System which was due to be introduced in May 2013 for non-EU visitors will now be delayed by an extra six months.
Once launched, non-European visitors with visa-waiver status between the ages of 18-70 will be required to submit an application for the ETIAS in order to travel to 26 countries in the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days.
The ETIAS is not a visa but an essential travel document which will be enforced on those applicable.
Back in 2016, tightened measures to pre-screen non-EU visitors and collect advanced data were approved by the European Parliament.
The Schengen zone is mostly comprised of European countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The UK’s departure from the EU means that Britons are now subject to the new rules.
Applicants must pay a $7 dollar fee for a 3-year permit and can expect a response to be returned to them within 4 weeks.
The new travel authorisation rules affect 1.4 billion in 40 countries outside the EU. Some European countries such as America, Albania, Australia and Canada currently have a visa-free arrangement to travel. In total, the scheme has been pushed back three times to the end of 2022 and now to November 2023.
ETIAS will further streamline borders by making travel procedures tougher for people travelling from out the European Union, however, with delays to introducing the new requirements, travellers will be able to enter the Schengen Zone for a while longer.
More updates around the implementation will be given in the months before the ETIAS comes into effect. Passengers will be eased into adapting to the new system while an initial 6-month grace period may come into effect. Early registration online is encouraged.