As planners begin post-pandemic meeting planning in earnest, there’s something new on the to-do list for European events: May 2023 will bring a new requirement for Americans arriving in an E.U. country.
Specifically, American citizens as well as travelers from 58 other nations will have to complete a European Travel Information and Authorization System visa waiver, even for stays of less than 90 days. Described as a screening tool to help stop terrorism, illegal immigration, and increased epidemic risk, ETIAS waivers require no biometric data but rather passport information as well as answers to questions about “the traveler’s health and whether they have been to conflict zones in the past,” according to the ETIAS website.
The new system is similar to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s visa-waiver program that’s been in effect for the past 14 years. Called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, it requires citizens from 40 countries in Europe and elsewhere to apply online and pay $14 for a visa waiver, regardless of length of stay.
The ETIAS website says that the new requirement should be completed at least 96 hours prior to departure, takes about 10 minutes to complete online, and that most travelers will receive their authorization within an hour. The authorization will be valid for three years for all E.U. visits by the traveler. The cost for the application is about $8.
Starting in May 2023, Europe-bound flights from the U.S. will check passengers’ ETIAS authorizations before boarding. Countries that won’t require the visa-waiver application include England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Turkey.
This article at Forbes.com provides additional details of the new requirement.