Starting in 2024, individuals from 59 countries worldwide, such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, who have visa-free access to the European Union will need to acquire travel authorization through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to visit any of the 27 Schengen countries, as well as Bulgaria, Romania, or Cyprus. This is a fresh mandate put in place by the EU.
ETIAS is an internet-based travel authorization and not classified as a visa.
Once authorized through ETIAS, visitors can stay for a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day span across 30 European nations.
To initiate an ETIAS application, travelers must provide a passport with a validity of at least three months, furnish an email address, fill out the electronic application form, and remit a fee of €7.
The sole authentic ETIAS website is europa.eu/etias, where the application form will be accessible following the system’s inauguration.
ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. This system will evaluate the security credentials and impose a fee on individuals who are visiting EU member countries for business, medical, transit, or tourism reasons.
Currently, individuals who travel to Europe without a visa can enter EU and Schengen member states free of charge and without any digital security screening before their arrival in Europe.
ETIAS is not a visa but rather a visa-waiver, much like the ESTA. The ETIAS, similar to the ESTA, serves as a travel authorization for those who do not require a visa to visit Europe.
Under the ETIAS, these visitors will be subject to extra security screenings before being allowed to enter the EU. Citizens from countries such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada will be required to obtain an ETIAS.