All non-EU travelers, including U.K. nationals, visiting under the Schengen visa-free scheme will now need to apply for an ETIAS and pay a €7 fee, but only every 3 years.
First, some distinctions. The new ETIAS application and fee is neither a post-Bretix retaliation nor a new “barrier” for non-EU visitors.
The ETIAS is an electronic authorization that assesses potential security and health risks using a sophisticated IT system.
It was created in 2016 (far before people believed the Brexit could actually happen) in order to protect the EU territory from anyone who would represent a security, public health, or migratory threat to the bloc.
As a democratic country, the United Kingdom freely decided to join the non-EU nations. Thus, they must now fill out the application and pay the €7 fee just like any other outsider.
Consequently, migrant workers, second-home owners, tourists, or people visiting family or friends in the Schengen zone should be on top of this entry change.
The document is equivalent to the American Electronic System Travel Authorization (ESTA), which costs €13 ($14) and must be filled out each time a person visits the U.S. under a visa-waiver program.
“The ETIAS will not be a burden for travelers’ finances as it will cost only €7. At the same time, each ETIAS that is approved will be valid for a period of three years, or until the holder’s passport expires, whichever comes first,” SchengenVisaInfo.com experts reported.
The travel authorization can be used multiple times as long as the holders do not exceed the Schengen Area’s permissible stay period.
Before being granted, each application is cross-checked against different EU security databases, including the Schengen Information System, the Entry/Exit System, and the Europol and Interpol databases.
This allows EU security to check if the travel document has been reported missing, stolen or if the person is wanted for arrest.
Although the specific date has yet to be announced, the ETIAS travel authorization is confirmed to be mandatory by mid-2022.