Europe won’t charge for entry just yet

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(CNN) – Planning a trip to Europe next summer? The cost of living is rising, but there is one small convenience – you no longer have to pay €7 ($7.35) to go inside.

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The European Commission has postponed the launch of its ETIAS visa waiver scheme, which would require all non-EU passport holders to have a pre-travel permission to enter the bloc.

According to a new memorandum issued by the European Commission, it will now be operational by November 2023.

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do not have an ETIAS visa; Instead, it is a visa waiver scheme similar to the United States’ ESTA program, which was launched in 2008.

It doesn’t take the place of a visa either; This will only apply to non-EU citizens from countries that do not already require a visa to the EU. It is faster than Visa to process, is done online (like ESTA), and does not require any biometric information. However, like ESTA, there is a cost to getting it.

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EU travelers are exempt, and have the freedom to move around the block, allowing them to spend as much time in as many countries as they want. EU residents will also be exempted from the scheme, regardless of their nationality.

But for all people entering the bloc from a country that previously did not require a visa, ETIAS will be mandatory. The move affects around 60 countries, including the US and UK, which lost freedom of movement after Brexit. Nothing changes for those who previously needed a visa to enter.

According to a new memorandum issued by the European Union, the application process will take place through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval “within minutes”, for an estimated 95% of applicants. In “very exceptional cases” the maximum time required for approval can be up to one month. Anyone whose application is rejected shall have the right to appeal.

The ETIAS authorization will be valid for an unlimited number of entries over three years. However, holders must comply with immigration and overstay regulations. Currently, third-party citizens cannot stay in the entire block for more than 90 days, for each 180-day period.

Cost: €7 ($7.35) for those aged between 18 and 70. It is not yet clear whether others will have lower rates or whether they will be able to apply for free. In comparison, the US charges $21 for an ESTA authorization.

Applications can’t be made yet, and no date has yet been set for when they will begin.

Main image: Noppasinw/Adobe Stock


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