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The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was created to reduce the number of irregular migrants who attempt to enter Europe by requiring citizens of certain countries to obtain authorization before entering the Schengen area, which includes all EU member states except Ireland, the UK, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. Those who have been in an ETIAS-designated country will be required to apply online at least three days before they plan to enter one of the participating countries or their visa will be automatically denied. Here are seven things you need to know about the ETIAS online application.

7 Things You Need to Know About Applying for ETIAS Online

1) When Does ETIAS Become Mandatory?

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will become mandatory by 2023. If you plan on travelling to Europe sometime in 2022/2023, it’s important that you apply for an ETIAS before your trip, or at least learn about it—otherwise, you may not be allowed entry into Europe. Luckily the applications are still very affordable. There’s no real rush to apply for an ETIAS until its mandatory deadline is closer—but it never hurts to plan ahead.

2) How Much Does it Cost to Apply for ETIAS?

Although there’s no official word yet on what exactly an ETIAS visa waiver will cost, it will likely follow in the footsteps of ESTA. Filing a standard ESTA application costs $14 and lasts for two years—and each subsequent renewal is $8. If we assume a similar cost structure with ETIAS, then you can expect to pay about $8 - $10 every few years for your travel freedom. The good news? Neither European border agents nor airline ticket agents will have access to your ETIAS data so you won’t be charged a fee every time you cross a border or purchase a plane ticket.

3) What if I Don’t Have a Passport or Travel Document?

In addition to your passport, you’ll need one other form of official identification with a photo and signature. The document must be issued by your country’s government—you can’t use a driver’s licence or student ID, etc.—and it has to contain information that matches what appears on your passport.

4) Will I Get an Electronic Travel Authorization Approval ETA?

When you apply online, you will receive a response immediately that confirms whether or not your application was successful. If your application is successful, it means that you have met all of the ETIAS requirements and are able to travel to Europe. If there are any errors in your application (for example, if you do not fill out everything correctly), then you will receive an error message stating why your application was unsuccessful. A further explanation of why exactly it was unsuccessful will also be provided so that you can correct these errors and re-apply at a later date.

6) Do I Need an Interview or Facial Recognition at the Border?

In order to travel, everyone requires a Visa, which you can apply for on your own. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is only required if you’re between 18 and 70 years old. If you have been denied entry into a Schengen country before or are from one of these countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia, Syria or Ukraine. As long as you pass all of these questions: Where do you live? What is your job? You should be alright.

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