Monday, June 24, 2024

What’s the Purpose of an ETIAS Travel Authorization?

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If you’re planning to jet off to Europe, 2024 might be a good year to do it. The new program that requires Canadians to register before travelling to Europe is experiencing further delays and won’t be up and running until sometime in 2025. As of now, Canadians can still travel to Europe without this added step.

The program was slated to come into effect January 1, 2024. It will require 1.4 billion people—including Canadians—to get special travel authorization to enter the Schengen area of Europe. The restriction is part of an international effort to increase security. The new rules are being rolled out by the European Travel Information and Authorisation System [ETIAS]. The program was originally supposed to come into effect in 2021, but has experienced four delays so far. The most current one being caused by an IT delivery issue.

Once ETIAS kicks off, travellers coming from once visa-exempt countries—including Canadian, American and British tourists—will be required to apply for the travel authorization and pay a small fee. It applies to people who plan to stay in participating countries for fewer than 90 days.

What’s the Purpose of an ETIAS Travel Authorization?

The new requirements are being established to help “identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors,” according to the European Commission website.

Which Countries Require ETIAS Authorizations?

There are 30 mostly European countries that will require travel authorizations once ETIAS kicks off. You will have to show your passport, ETIAS documentation and any other entry requirements to border officers when entering these countries.

ETIAS Basics for Canadian Citizens

The ETIAS authorization is only good for short-term stays of 90 days or less; it is not a work visa. It’s recommended you complete a ETIAS application up to 96 days before your departure. The ETIAS information is linked to your passport and is valid for three years once the ETIAS application is completed. However, if you have to replace your passport for any reason, you’ll also need a new ETIAS travel authorization. (Your travel insurance company should be able to assist with a lost passport.)

People Who Need ETIAS Authorizations

You will need an ETIAS Authorization if any of the following apply to you:

  • You’re not a European Union national.
  • You’re a citizen of any country, including Canada whose nationals don’t currently need a visa for a short-term stay in a European Union country.
  • You don’t have a residence permit or card issued by any of the European countries that require ETIAS.
  • Some travelers may be exempted from the requirement for an ETIAS travel authorization, so check before you apply.

How to Apply for ETIAS

Canadian citizens traveling to Europe can apply on the ETIAS website’s application section once it becomes operational. For notifications in the meantime, you can sign up for emails at the website.

Cost of an ETIAS Travel Authorization

Currently, the ETIAS application fee is €7 ($10.15 CAD). It’s free for anyone under the age of 18 or over the age of 70.

How Long ETIAS Is Good For

The ETIAS authorization is good for three years. You can only travel in a participating country for 90 days within any 180-day period. Whenever you travel to participating countries, your ETIAS authorization must be valid for the duration of the stay.

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