Starting at the end of 2022, UK citizens will need to have an ETIAS if they wish to travel to the EU. Learn more about the new program here.
Traveling to the EU with ETIAS: What UK citizens need to know
There was a multitude of consequences that came from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, including changes in trade, immigration, and growth.
However, intrepid travellers will need to pay attention to another important adjustment: citizens of the United Kingdom are now eligible to apply for the ETIAS.
Starting at the end of 2022, nationals from more than 60 countries are eligible to travel to the European Union with the ETIAS.
This electronic visa waiver, which stands for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, is a new programme that greatly simplifies travel to the EU.
Thanks to the straightforward and easy ETIAS, there’s no need to wonder about questions like, How long can I stay in Europe after Brexit? Do I need to pass border checks between the EU? Does each individual EU country need a visa? and much more.
Benefits of the ETIAS
There are many benefits of the ETIAS, especially when it comes to saving time, money, and stress.
Perhaps one of the biggest conveniences of the ETIAS is its ease and functionality.
Many Britons were afraid that they would need to apply for a visa to visit the European Union after Brexit, but thankfully this is not the case. Instead, UK citizens who want to visit their favourite destinations in the EU are eligible to obtain an ETIAS for short stays.
The ETIAS is valid for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period, which is plenty of time to check out the delicious cuisine of Corfu, Greece; walk through nearly 3,000 years of history in Rome, Italy; or visit traditional medieval villages in Germany.
Likewise, applying for the ETIAS is very quick and easy. Long gone are the days of visiting an embassy, having an in-person interview, or gathering piles of documents to submit. That’s because the application is done entirely online and should take most people about 15 minutes to complete.
Besides the application process, holders of the ETIAS have a bonus privilege when arriving in the European Union: fewer queues.
When going through the process, travellers provided information about themselves beforehand, were checked through various databases (such as Interpol), and were ultimately approved for
the ETIAS. Due to this, border control agents can quickly verify a traveller’s identity and rapidly move through long queues of travellers in minutes.
Finally, the ETIAS is much more budget-friendly: it only costs €7 (slightly under £6) for a 3-year travel authorisation. This costs much less than a typical visa, such as the £151 tourist visa to China for UK citizens!
Last but not least, the ETIAS is a multiple entry travel authorisation, which means that the holder can make multiple trips to the EU without having to worry. The only thing to keep in mind is that each trip cannot exceed 90 days within a 180-day period. This is especially fantastic for holidaymakers who are planning to enjoy slow travel and longer itineraries at their destinations.
How to apply for the ETIAS
When the ETIAS is launched, travellers can apply for their travel authorisation by filling out a simple online application form.
The form asks basic questions regarding the traveller’s identity, including their full name, date of birth, gender, passport data, and contact information. There will also be a special section that asks yes/no questions about the applicant’s health and criminal history.
Once the application is complete, travellers will need to pay the processing fee in order to successfully submit their ETIAS petition for consideration.
The typical processing time for the ETIAS is instant, although in very rare cases it may take up to 1 to 2 business days to confirm. The approved ETIAS is sent to the traveller’s email address.
Which countries are part of the ETIAS program?
A common question that many travellers wonder is, which countries can I visit with the ETIAS?
The ETIAS covers all 22 countries that make up the Schengen Zone, such as Spain, Malta, France, Germany, and Austria, among others. Three microstates that are a de facto part of the Schengen Area — Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City — are also included.
Finally, travellers can use their ETIAS to visit four non-EU member states as well: Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland.
There are a handful of countries that have special circumstances: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania. These four nations are part of the European Union, yet are not yet a member of the Schengen Zone.
At the moment, travellers do not need to have an ETIAS if they wish to enjoy the sunny beaches of Bulgaria or explore the ancient ruins in Cyprus. However, once these countries are fully integrated into the Schengen Zone, this may change.
By keeping these tips in mind and applying for the ETIAS once it has launched, travellers can enjoy a fun and stress-free holiday to some of their favourite destinations (such as the newly-opened Birmingham to Málaga flight).