Individuals from over 60 visa-exempt countries must obtain an ETIAS travel authorization to enter most European countries beginning in May 2025 – a pushback from the initially announced January 2024 date. There is no date for the launch of the ETIAS system on the official website, but you should be prepared to know what to do when the time comes.
France Diplomacy reports the live date to be introduced by 2025, while Schengen Visa News provides more details from official sources:
We had initially hoped for the EES to become operational by the end of this year or, at the latest, the beginning of the next year. Due to unforeseen delays, it has become evident that this timeline is unattainable. As a result, the implementation of the ETIAS has been rescheduled to May 2025, with the possibility of further postponement. Both systems are deeply linked. Though the Entry/Exit can function properly without the ETIAS, it is impossible for the latter to become operational without the EES.EU Official cited by Schengen Visa News: No, ETIAS Won’t Become Operational in 2024, EU Sources Say
ETIAS has been postponed several times, starting in 2020, then 2022, 2023, and 2024. With the possibility of further postponement, there’s no way to predict when the system will go live. Maybe the IT agency of the European Union eu-LISA will solve their technical difficulties and launch the system in 2024. If you plan to travel to the EU, keep an eye on the news to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the border.
ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) aims to strengthen security, reduce illegal immigration and terrorism risks, and protect EU residents’ and visitors’ safety and well-being.
What countries require ETIAS in 2024 or 2025?
The following thirty European countries will require travelers from visa-exempt countries to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization to enter their territories: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Who Needs ETIAS Travel Authorization?
Over 1.4 billion people from over 60 visa-exempt countries will be affected by the new ETIAS travel requirements. These are Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monte Negro, New Zeeland, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Visitors from eligible countries must apply for an ETIAS authorization to travel to Europe. The application process is simple and can be done online. The approval process is fast, and the processing fee is 7 EUR.
For visitors from visa-exempt countries, ETIAS will be mandatory.
ETIAS Travel Checklist
- Apply for an ETIAS travel authorization before purchasing your ticket or booking your accommodation.
- Ensure that the details on your passport match those on your ETIAS authorization, as you will be denied boarding and entry at the border if there are discrepancies.
- Confirm the validity of your ETIAS travel authorization. (ETIAS authorization will be valid for three years or until the expiration of the passport used during the application, whichever comes first.)
- Verify the duration of stay permitted in European countries that require ETIAS – normally for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
- Ensure that your passport remains valid for at least three months after your planned departure from European countries requiring ETIAS; failure to comply may result in denied entry at the border (with a few exceptions).
Note: ETIAS is not a visa. People from countries with visa liberalization agreements can still travel to the EU without a visa. Still, they must obtain travel authorization through ETIAS before they can go. In over 95% of cases, applicants will receive a positive response within a few minutes. In rare situations, the ETIAS procedure takes up to 30 days.
The ETIAS travel authorization will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travelers. It will help them avoid unnecessary paperwork and delays when entering the borders. ETIAS will fully acknowledge their visa-free status, make crossing the external Schengen border easier, and allow visa-free visitors to enjoy their privileges. See further documentation here.
An extensive list of people who don’t require an ETIAS travel authorization is available on the official ETIAS website. Still, all nationals of EU countries requiring ETIAS can travel freely within the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is currently not in operation and does not collect applications for travel authorizations at this point. Do not provide your private data to any other third-party websites.