Europe Is Once Again Delaying New Entrance Fee Until Next Year

The new policy was originally supposed to go into effect May 2021.


Soon there will be another little cost to figure into your future European vacation plans, but you don't have to worry about it just yet.

Initially, Europe announced that starting May 2021 (and then delayed until November 2023) Americans between the ages of 18 to 70 entering Europe would have to pay a €7 fee, which comes to about $7.42. The new fee is part of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), which will be used to increase security at borders.

Now, though, Europe has delayed the fee again. According to the government, travelers won't need to open up their wallet until the start of 2024. 

“It is expected that the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be operational in 2024,” reads the answer to a FAQ on the Commission's ETIAS website

Once the fee goes into effect, applying for it won't be hard, and it will be similar to the ESTA process that non-US travelers go through when visiting the United States. 

"Non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for a travel authorization through the ETIAS system prior to their trip," the update posted to the European Commission website states. "The information gathered via ETIAS will allow, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection principles, for advance verification of potential security, irregular migration of high epidemic risks."

To put it plainly, there will be an extra step for travelers who enter the EU if they aren't required to get a visa for entry. You'll have to fill out a form through a mobile app or the website. Part of the application will require you to pay that fee of €7. According to the ETIAS fact sheet, it will take about 10 minutes for most applications to be approved. Some applications may take up to 30 days for approval, but that is predicted to be less than 5% of cases.

The application will require your passport or equivalent document information, the first EU country you intend to visit, and background questions, including information about any previous criminal record, presence in conflict zones, and any orders to leave a territory. Once the ETIAS is approved, it will be valid for three years or the validity of your travel document.

This won't go into effect until next year, but if you've already got travel plans to Europe, you should definitely add this to your pre-trip checklist.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.