(CNN) – It’s finally here: the end of the EU’s fee-free travel.
The EU has announced the launch of its long-awaited visa waiver scheme, ETIAS, in May 2023.
While ETIAS is not like a visa – it is fast, goes online and does not require any biometric information – there is still a process and cost to obtain it, like the United States scheme, ESTA.
ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, was previously scheduled to debut in late 2022.
EU tourists are exempted, and have the freedom of movement around the block, allowing them to spend as much time as they want in many countries. EU residents will also be exempted.
But for anyone entering the block from a country from which a visa was not previously required, ETIAS will be mandatory. The move affects about 60 countries, including the US and the UK, which lost freedom of movement after Brexit. Nothing changes for those who need a visa in advance to enter.
According to a new memo issued by the EU, an estimated 95% of applicants will be processed through a “largely automated IT system” with approval “in minutes”. The maximum time required for approval can be up to one month in “very exceptional cases”. Anyone whose application is denied will have the right to appeal.
ETIAS authorization is valid for an unlimited number of entries from three years. However, holders must comply with immigration and overstay rules. Currently, third-party citizens cannot stay in the block for more than 90 days, for a period of every 180 days.
Price: € 7 ($ 7.35) for people between the ages of 18 and 70. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. In comparison, the US ESTA charges $ 21 for authentication.
The start date of the petitions has not been announced yet.
Top Image Credits: Artem Kamishenkov / Adobe Stock