a blue passport with gold text on it

Surprise, surprise — as the world rediscovers its love of travel after a few tumultuous years, countries are eager to capitalize. Wherever you plan to go, expect new fees for an electronic travel authorization or visa in the years to come.

But one such fee which was set to impact hundreds of millions of travelers from May of this year is delayed, yet again.

The European Union has been eagerly awaiting the rollout of their new ETIAS travel authorization which would pre-authorize people to visit the bloc of European nations and charge $8 for three years of access.

In response to a myriad of technical issues and demand for recovery, that 2023 launch is now being pushed back again to 2024. Summer travel to Europe should remain as seamless as ever, for now.

European Union ETIAS Delayed

The United States was among the first to introduce an electronic authorization system with the ‘ESTA‘ approval required in advance of travel for all tourists entries. The visa that’s “definitely not a visa” is used to pre-screen travelers of concern and to help fund tourism infrastructure.

In response to this tit-for-tat fee imposed on European citizens and to help pre-screen travelers bound for Europe, the EU plans to launch its own version of the ESTA with the ETIAS authorization.

Registration and mandatory use was expected to begin in May of 2023 but now won’t come into effect until 2024, with no further specification as to when.

In separate but related news, the UK plans to launch its mandatory entry fee before the end of 2023, which will remain separate to any access to the European Union such as the ETIAS.

a colorful tiled bench in a city

What Does It Mean For My Travel?

It was largely expected that tourists headed to Europe this summer, or fall would’ve needed to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization and pay the fee ahead of travel this year. That’s no longer the case.

Though an $8 fee and a typically 24-48 hour wait until approval for an ETIAS travel authorization will eventually hit in 2024, it won’t be happening this year. If you have any plans to travel to Europe in 2023 any requirements will be much the same as they are presently.

The European Union allows visa-free entry from many countries, so if you could enter without paperwork before, that should largely still be the case. An American heading to Madrid this summer won’t be required to apply for an ETIAS, nor will any applications be available.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. These are visas pure and simple. My wife – we’ve been married for decades and she’s been to our house in the US countless times – was denied an ESTA and we had to delay our trip and wait months for her to go to an in-person interview at the US Embassy in her country. She’s a tourist when she comes to the US because legal immigration costs up to $10K and I am a resident of her country (cost nothing).
    So when these bastards tell you it’s not a visa, they are lying.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *