What is ETIAS? And Why You Will Need It To Enter The UK

Fully vaccinated American and European travelers can now travel to UK as England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have opened up their borders.

Proof of vaccination and/or digital vaccine certificates are required not only to enter the UK and its territories but might be asked for when accessing venues such as concert halls, theaters and pubs.

Related Read: Do You Need Travel Insurance before Entering UK? The Answer May Surprise You

European Commission requires a mandatory pre-screening for all travelers coming in to a European country within the Schengen zone called the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). While it is similar in its parameters to the US issued Electronic System for Travel Authorization, it is not a visa. Currently, travelers from visa-free countries traveling into Europe for less than 90 days do not require either of these documents. (travel restrictions and border closures for others still continue). Having a longer stay there however, has different travel document needs.

Here is everything you need to know regarding ETIAS-

What is ETIAS

  • European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).
  • It is a mandatory travelers’ pre-screening to facilitate visa free access.

Where is ETIAS relevant

  • Travel to the 26 European countries without internal borders of the Schengen zone.

Purpose of ETIAS

  • To better monitor travelers coming into EU and eliminate informational gaps;
  • Protect its borders by increasing security levels through background checks;
  • Limit illegal immigration while still promoting tourism;
  • Improve immigration procedures.

Who is ETIAS applicable to

  • Applicable to all US nationals and passport holders of 60 other countries that currently enjoy visa-free travel to Europe including Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel and Mauritius. Travel restrictions and border closures for others still continue. So it is important to check with your flight, and the consulate before you plan your next trip.
  • Indian nationals holding an Indian passport need to continue applying for a Schengen visa if traveling to the US for any duration.

How to Apply for ETIAS

  • Complete an online form (coming soon);
  • Have a valid passport with 3-month validity beyond the stay in Europe;
  • Take note, passport should have been issued within the past 10-years;
  • Have a legitimate email account to receive the ETIAS confirmation email and a credit card to be able to pay the fees;
  • Pay fee of approximately $8.

When is ETIAS effective

  • This is effective since January 1, 2021. It was visa free travel until then.

How long will ETIAS be Valid for

  • Validity is for 3 years, with multiple entries permitted.

Things to know for ETIAS

  • Travelers will require the ETIAS before boarding flight.
  • Other restrictions with ETIAS – restricted right to carry weapons, importing and exporting tobacco, alcohol, perfume and large amounts of currency
    Legal obligation of every traveler by 2021.

Stay tuned to this space as we continue to update you with more information pertaining to your next Europe travel.