There’s an emergence of fresh headlines suggesting a new start date for Europe’s ETIAS visitor fee, aka the new way the European Union will make money off of all arriving foreign visitors, much the same way the US does with its “ESTA” visa waiver program. Unfortunately, they’re all BS.
There is no new start date. The only thing that’s changed is that the European Union has once again pushed this initiative back, as the myriad mess of computer systems, rules and payment processing challenges takes shape.
Here’s everything you need to know about the current rules for entering Europe from abroad and what will change once the rules actually change — which won’t be anytime in 2023, or 2024 actually.
Europe’s ETIAS “Visa” Pushed Back, Again
The backstory, short: the European Union has plans to introduce a fee all visitors will pay in advance, which will help boost the economy and pre-screen travelers before they arrive on European soil. The United States does this with its ESTA program.
The present, short: it’s not happening any time soon, again.
The ETIAS non-visa, but “kind of a visa” was initially scheduled to roll out in early May of 2023. That obviously didn’t happen. More recently, it was tipped for the beginning of 2024. That’s not happening either.
The closest thing we have to a “date”, is that EU officials now plan a roll out for the first half of 2025. Correct, any dreams of rolling this out in 2024 have been quashed, and in the meantime, there’s absolutely no reason to panic or worry about added travel entry requirements until… 2025.
2025 And No Change For Now
According to the Local, the European Union aims to have some of the framework in place by the end of 2024, but to ensure a rollout isn’t entirely bungled, the new ETIAS will not impact travelers until a tbd date in 2025. For now, that means if you have plans to visit Europe in 2023 or 2024, absolutely nothing changes.
Currently, visitors entering the European Union from abroad are subject to standard entry and exit requirements, and many nationalities don’t require a visa so long as they plan to enter for fewer than 90 days in a 180 day period.
The rollout has been so up in the air that French officials specifically asked for any introduction of the ETIAS to be delayed until after the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and that’s now been pushed back even further.
For now, just sit back, relax and enjoy your trip to Europe. When it’s time for the ETIAS to roll out, here’s everything you’ll need to know. Bon voyage!