Thirty European countries have delayed implementation of the ETIAS travel authorization system for U.S. and foreign visitors until 2025. Pictured, Krakow, Poland.
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A new requirement for U.S. travelers to Europe, which was supposed to take effect next year, has been postponed – again – until 2025.
The requirement – an online travel authorization via the European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS – applies to visitors from 30 European countries, including popular destinations such as France, Germany , Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Americans will not be allowed to visit without permission.
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The system “will be ready to enter service in spring 2025”, according to an announcement made following a meeting of the Council of the European Union on October 19 and 20.
The European Union website for ETIAS also updated the language, citing “mid-2025” as the new official start date. As the program is not yet operational, no applications are currently being collected, the EU website indicates.
A European Commission spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the delay at the time of publication.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, proposed in 2016 to establish elements to strengthen security checks on people from more than 60 nations (including the United States) who can visit the European region of Schengen without visa. The new European system is similar to the one the United States implemented in 2008.
The requirement for a travel authorization – which carries a non-refundable fee of 7 euros per person, or about $7.40 at current exchange rates – has already been delayed several times. It was initially scheduled to come into force in 2021, then in 2023 and 2024 – and now in 2025.
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People under 18 or over 70 are exempt from application fees.
Most requests will be processed within minutes and within four days at the latest, according to the EU. However, it may take longer – up to 30 extra days for travelers asked to provide additional information or documents or to undergo an interview with national authorities, the EU said.
“We strongly advise you to obtain the ETIAS travel authorization before purchasing your tickets and reserving your hotels,” the EU website says.
The ETIAS authorization is valid for three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Travelers with a valid ETIAS do not need to apply for a new one each time they visit Europe.
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