Starting in 2024, travellers heading into the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus or Romania under a British passport will be required to complete an Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) clearance before travelling.
The ETIAS pre-clearance system is similar to the ESTA system in the USA and eTA system in Canada. It serves to enhance security by checking the details of those wishing to travel to the Schengen Area before they arrive.
All persons travelling under a British passport – or a passport of another non-EU or non-Schengen Area country where short-term entry is permitted into the Schengen Area without a visa – need to complete the ETIAS process. If you hold an EU or Schengen Area passport, or hold a valid EU or Schengen Area visa, you do not need to complete the ETIAS process.
An ETIAS will cost a 7EUR processing fee, although this is waived for those under the age of 18 or over the age of 70, or in some circumstances for family members of an EU or Schengen Area national. ETIASs will be valid for a period of three years from application, provided your passport remains valid during this period; new passport will require a new ETIAS.
More information on the ETIAS system is still to be confirmed by ETIAS authorities, including when and how application will be accepted. We have provided this handy FAQ on the ETIAS system to help you understand how to navigate the ETIAS system when it goes live.
All 27 Schengen Area countries, as well as Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania will require ETIAS pre-clearance to access for short-term visits. This includes the Freshtracks and Mountain Tracks destinations of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland.
The Republic of Ireland is the only EU nation that does not require ETIAS pre-clearance
All travellers who are eligible to enter the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania without a valid visa for short stays will need ETIAS pre-clearance. This includes citizens of the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as 54 other eligible nations.
Citizens of the Republic of Ireland do not require ETIAS to travel to the EU or Schengen Area.
No, an ETIAS is only required if you are travelling under a non-Schengen Area or non-EU passport for the purposes of short visits.
Similarly, if you hold a visa for the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus or Romania, ETIAS is not required to access each specific area.
Yes, spouses and dependent relatives of Schengen Area, Bulgarian, Romanian or Cypriot nationals still require ETIAS clearance.
In some instances, the 7EUR application fee and some elements of the security check may be waived if you are intending to visit an immediate relative who resides in an ETIAS member state. Note that these checks and fees will be waived only for entry to the member state in which the relative resides; a new ETIAS must be completed if visiting other member states.
This can be confusing; for more information please see here.
Roll-out of the ETIAS system has been postponed until 2024, although EU authorities have not provided more specific information.
The ETIAS administration states that ETIAS will normally be approved instantly. However, they recommend completing the process no later than 96hrs before you intend to travel.
More complex situations, whilst extremely rare, may take up to 30 days to process.
Roll-out of the ETIAS system has been postponed until 2024, although EU authorities have not provided more specific information, nor provided detailed instructions for application.
If you are remaining airside at your transiting airport, you will not require an ETIAS.
If, however, you intend to or must pass border control at your transiting airport, you will require an ETIAS.
An ETIAS will cost a 7EUR processing fee.
These fees are waived for travellers under the age of 18 or over the age of 70, as well as in some circumstances for relatives of Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Romanian or Cypriot nationals who reside in an EITAS member state.
Yes, all travellers will require an ETIAS.
The 7EUR processing fee is waived for travellers under the age of 18 or over the age of 70, as well as in some circumstances for relatives of Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Romanian or Cypriot nationals who reside in an EITAS member state.
Your ETIAS pre-clearance is valid for three years once approved.
Note that if you get a new passport during this three-year period, you will need to re-apply for an ETIAS as this will not be updated with your new passport details.
No, ETIAS pre-clearance is not a visa and therefore does not waive restrictions on the number of days you can spend in the Schengen Area.
No, ETIAS pre-clearance is completely digital and therefore you do not need to send your passport off for processing.
No, ETIAS pre-clearance is completely digital and therefore you do not need to carry any additional paperwork nor attach any documents to your passport, when entering the Schengen Area.
Be prepared when travelling to the EU and Schengen Area from 2024: