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Britons and other non-EU travellers face €7 fee to enter Europe for visits

The Local Germany
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Britons and other non-EU travellers face €7 fee to enter Europe for visits
Britons and other non-EU travellers face €7 fee to enter Europe for visits (Photo by STEFANIE LOOS / AFP)

British nationals as well as all other visa-exempt non-EU citizens will have to get authorisation and pay a €7 fee to enter the Schengen zone when new rules come in to force before the end of 2022, the European commission confirmed on Tuesday.

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The move is part of the Commission's plans for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) - and will affect all visitors coming from visa-exempt countries - like the UK, the US and Canada - who want to travel to EU states like France, Germany, Spain and Italy.  

"Once ETIAS is in place, non-EU citizens travelling to the Schengen area who are exempt from the visa requirement will need to register and obtain an authorisation before travelling," said the Commission in a press release.

"The system will cross-check travellers against EU information systems for internal security, borders and migration before their trip, helping to identify ahead of time people who may pose a risk to security or health, as well as compliance with migration rules."

The move is part of the EU's phasing-in plan for external border management with the ETIAS system aimed at boosting security to prevent crime and terrorism as well control migration.

Travellers affected will have to fill in an online application form which will have to be approved. 

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The Commission said on Tuesday the "vast majority of cases (expected to be over 95%) will result in automatic approval".

"In limited cases, where further checks on the traveller are needed, the issuing of the travel authorisation could take up to 30 days," the EU Commission says

The ETIAS authorisation will be a €7 one-off fee, and will be valid for three years as well as for multiple entries into Schengen states during that time. 

Applicants will be able to apply via an official website and/or app for mobile devices, the Commissions says.

Which countries are affected?

In general, visas are required for entry to EU countries for non-EU nationals. 

But a visa is not needed for visits of up to 90 days in an 180‑day period for nationals of countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement. That includes the UK, the US, Canada and Australia, among others. 

At the moment for instance, British passport holders who do not hold a residence title in an EU country, can enter Europe for short visits and tourist trips without having to pay a fee or organise a visa - although Covid restrictions have made travel a lot trickier. 

The EU Commission said the ETIAS will not change "which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement and will also not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt".

When will it happen?

We haven't got an exact date yet but the EU Commission says it will happen by the end of 2022. 

The date from which travellers will be able to apply will be published on this site.

According to the EU "ETIAS will be a largely automated IT system created to identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors travelling to the Schengen States, whilst at the same time facilitate crossing borders for the vast majority of travellers who do not pose such risks."

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stuart.laing 2021/08/04 22:27
If UK reciprocates, will that mean those arriving from France by dinghy ( without a pre-visa visa ) can be returned ?
rivabella1 2021/08/04 18:05
This power-hungry European union really is out of control or wanting full control.
  • mick.dreamscene 2021/08/06 09:43
    All part of the Brexit dividend!
  • thelocal_462458 2021/08/05 17:58
    UK voted for ETIAS when it was still in EU.
stuart.laing 2021/08/03 18:50
Sounds like you now need a visa to qualify for visa-free travel.
  • ewoods_476632 2021/08/06 15:41
    When the USA started requiring ESTA approvals for the EU, the EU warned that they would reciprocate. That is ETIAS. The rest of the world is incidental to this.
  • thelocal_462458 2021/08/05 18:00
    Proper visa requires way more documentation and money.
  • h15t0r1an 2021/08/04 22:33
    It's to "identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors". Funny how "high epidemic risks" has now been added in. The ETIAS tax-raising data-gathering idea has been in existence, long before Covid. So the excuse du jour, which was formerly "health and safety" and then "security" and now "Covid" for everything, has now been added in. So it's a visa. If you want a visa then make it a visa.
  • robeire 2021/08/04 08:39
    Same as the US then...

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