Your complete guide to ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorisation System

Your complete guide to ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorisation System
Following Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), there have been discussions regarding the future of travel for Brits on the continent. And in 2024, a new type of travel document will be introduced – European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

Known as the Schengen Zone, 26 European countries within the EU have their own border control requirements, offering its combined citizens a wider area of freedom of movement.

This area functions as a single jurisdiction are a common visa-waiver policy for international travel purposes – something Brits no longer have the luxury of enjoying.

Although this travel document is not currently in operation and no applications can be made got countries outside this zone – this guide summarises all you need to know about ETIAS.

What is ETIAS?

Currently there is no electronic system that allows the EU to monitor visitors from countries who do not need a visa or waiver to enter the Schengen Zone. This is where the ETIAS is changing travel within the region from 2024.

In the words of the European Commission, it ‘resembles the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)’ – and serves a very similar purpose.

Although plans for ETIAS began in 2016, the system is expected to be fully operational in 2024.

Non-EU nationals who previously did not need a visa to travel to the Schengen Zone will now have to apply for a travel authorisation through the ETIAS system prior to their journey.

Information gathered via the electronic ETIAS system will provide EU nations with the ability to provide advanced verification for travellers.

After filling in the application form, the system will conduct checks against EU information systems for borders and security. Should there be no irregularities, people will be issued a travel authorisation form within a few minutes.

If there are any further checks needed, then this could take up to 30 days.

ETIAS will be a mandatory part for travellers in order to gain entry to the Schengen Zone. It will be checked by border security alongside your passport and other relevant paperwork.

Why has ETIAS been introduced?

The ETIAS is primarily being introduced to provide border security with a detailed security check of each person entering the country within the Schengen Zone.

According to “The ETIAS system will gather, keep track of, and update necessary information regarding visitors to determine whether it is safe for them to enter Schengen countries.”

Following years of increased security checks on borders, the EU wants to ensure safe travel within its region.

ETIAS will detect is a traveller s a threat and will lead to them being denied entry.

The electronic visa system will also enable visitors and country officials a few more benefits.

It has been introduced to assist in detecting and decreasing cross-border crime, as well as improving the internal management of crossing EU borders.

The EU has also stated that it should reduce procedures and application time – making it ‘less of a hassle and a much safer experience’.

What countries will ETIAS cover?

After a successful application to gain an ETIAS form, you will be able to travel within the 26 Schengen Zone and three other nations in Europe.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
FREE car health check*

FREE car health check*

For a limited time, get FREE car health check with European breakdown cover.

FREE car health check*

What countries will need an ETIAS visa-waiver?

The UK, alongside 62 other nations, will need to apply for an ETIAS if they wish to visit the above countries after it officially launches in 2024.

These nations are listed below.

  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong S.A.R (Special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China)
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macao S.A.R (Special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China)
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • North Macedonia
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent
  • Samoa
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Timor-Leste (East Timor)
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

Who will need an ETIAS?

In short, anyone outside the Schengen Zone and from one of the nations above (including the UK) who are looking to travel to the area for up to 90 days.

You will not gain access to the country if you do not have this document.

How much will an ETIAS cost? And where can I get one?                              

The ETIAS will be a relatively cheap – but important – part of travelling to this area of Europe and will cost €7.

Travellers under the age of 18, or over the age of 70, will not need to pay the fee.

It is important that you only purchase this from the official ETIAS source.

The application process is very simple and only takes 10 minutes.

Reports towards the end of 2022 within the British media highlighted that many fake websites have launched to try and entice people to buy their visas through them – avoid them and don’t get hit with an unnecessary charge.

Once you have applied, you will receive an email confirming the submission of your application which will include your unique ETIAS application number. Keep this number safe.

What documents will I need to get an ETIAS?

According to official guidelines, you will only need your passport details.

In some rarer cases, you may be contacted by the country dealing with your ETIAS request – as they may need some extra documents before granting your access to your document.

Should more details be needed, you may be asked to attend an interview to explain your documentation or anything that comes up in a security check.

How long does an ETIAS last?

An ETIAS last for 90 days and can be used to travel across all Schengen Zone areas within that time period.

Visitors on an ETIAS are only allowed to engage in business or tourism activities.

Should you wish to study or work in these countries, then you will need to speak to the relevant government bodies ahead of your visit.

ETIAS will be linked to a traveller’s passport and reman valid for up to three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

If a traveller applies for a new passport, then they need to get a new ETIAS travel authorisation form.

Will I need one for each ETIAS country or will it work in all of them?

Your ETIAS document can be used for all countries – meaning you only have to purchase one official document ahead of your visit.

However, when you apply for an ETIAS you will need to state what country you will be entering first. In order to gain access to the Schengen Zone, you will need to enter this country first.

Are you driving in Europe soon? Be prepared

With the colder months now here and people across the UK looking at taking a winter getaway, be prepared for the road ahead.

Make sure you have European Breakdown Cover, and know the motoring rules for the nation you are visiting.

Have a great holiday!

FREE car health check*

FREE car health check*

For a limited time, get FREE car health check with European breakdown cover.

FREE car health check*


  • When will ETIAS be implemented?

    ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) will officially launch in 2024, after its initial plan to start in November 2023.

  • What is an ETIAS visa?

    ETIAS will be a mandatory part for travellers in order to gain entry to the Schengen Zone within continental Europe. It will be checked by border security alongside your passport and other relevant paperwork. It will be officially launched in 2024.

  • How long does ETIAS last?

    According to the official ETIAS announcement, it will be valid for three years, or the date of passport expiry (whichever comes first), and can be used for stays of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.

  • Which countries need ETIAS visa?

    The counties where you will need an ETIAS will include; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

    • How much does ETIAS cost?

      When it was officially announced, ETIAS will only cost €7 for each application - however, this may change before the start date in 2024. The fees are applicable to adults between the ages of 18 and 70.

    • What does ETIAS stand for?

      ETIAS officially stands for the European Travel Information and Authorization System. It will launch in 2024.

    • Where to apply for an ETIAS visa?

      Following its launch in 2024, you will need to visit the official page - - to apply for a ETIAS.

    • When will UK citizens need an ETIAS waiver?

      For UK residents looking to travel to the Schengen Zone, you will need to have an approved ETIAS waiver in 2024. As of October 2023, no official start date has been announced.

    • For citizens from outside Europe, what do you need to do?

      Entrance into the European Union (​EU) will be changing in 2024, and you will likely need an approved ETIAS waiver for your next trip to Europe. Keep up to date through the official website.

    *Ends 13/12/23. 9am. Bookings subject to garage availability.