The ETIAS will not burden your finances a lot. It is planned to have the ETIAS cost only 7 euros for each application. This is only valid for adults over 18 years old, as those under 18 will not have to pay any fees. You can pay the fee by debit or credit card. Immediately after you complete the payment, the ETIAS authorization will start processing. If approved, the ETIAS might be valid for 3 years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during application, whichever comes first. Whether you will get the first period of validity or the second depends on the system’s evaluation of your information and risk.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), ETIAS is an important first step in the “digitalization of travel.” The end goal is the use of biometric technology – think fingerprints and facial recognition – to help provide the ultimate in security. The European Union (EU) agency driving this digital initiative is eu-LISA, the European Agency for the Operational Management of Large Scale IT Systems. It’s the very first EU agency established for the sole purpose of border and migration policies. Since it began operations in 2012, eu-LISA has been moving toward an all-digital, interoperable system so every key EU agency can get critical information to people on the front lines, such as border control and police.
ETIAS, the European Travel Information System, provides qualifying visitors a visa waiver when traveling to the Schengen Area, a group of European countries that have agreed upon who can visit and how long they can stay. The Schengen Area was created by the European Union, or EU, in the spirit of harmonious and free travel between borders and has grown to 26 countries – most are in the EU but some are not. Given the influx of international travelers to the Schengen Area, more comprehensive security checks have had to be put in place. ETIAS, much like ESTA in the United States, will create centralized data on who is visiting and why, providing enhanced security for all.
ETIAS approval allows you to bypass time-consuming and potentially costly visits to embassies and consulates. ETIAS is not a visa. It is a visa waiver. If the purpose of your trip does not fall under the scope of ETIAS, you will need to apply for a traditional visa with each country on your itinerary.
Europe is a fabulous travel destination, here are a few attractions you can visit. Casita Verde is the headquarters of an ongoing sustainable living and eco-education project. Set in a restored finca, and mainly run by volunteers, they have open days every Sunday throughout the year when you can tour the farm, see buildings made from recycled materials, enjoy a home-cooked vegetarian lunch, as well as participate in workshops, listen to live music and enjoy massages and other therapies.
To apply for an ETIAS, you must be a citizen of one of 61 ETIAS eligible countries. The United States is on the eligible list. At the very latest, you should apply for ETIAS 5 days before your trip. The sooner, the better. Your approved ETIAS will last for three years, but it will expire when your passport does – whichever comes first. If you have less than 3 years before your passport expires when you apply for ETIAS, you will have to re-apply for ETIAS when you get a new passport. Read extra details on ETIAS.