Traveling to the EU will become very different - in time (2023)

The new digital regime proposed by the EU for travelers entering the Schengen area (which consists of most European countries) has been delayed again. Originally planned to enter into force in 2022, the introduction of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) has been delayed several times. Until recently, it was expected to be implemented later this year. But now it seems there has been another delay until 2024 ( And it is speculated that it will not be in force until after the Olympic Games in Paris, which end on August 11 next year.

What does all this mean for passengers? While the government negotiated "visa-free" visits after Brexit for British tourists traveling to Spain, Italy, Greece and so on, the new system proposed by the EU will require non-EU nationals to apply for and pay for an e-passport . before the trip. It is valid for three years and will be required for any UK citizen entering the Schengen area – the border-free zone that includes the vast majority of member states plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It is designed to work with the EU's new Entry and Exit System (EES), which was due to go live at the end of May this year, but now also appears to have been delayed - until November. This will require us to upload your fingerprints and other biometric data into a computer system across Europe andwill remove the need for a passport stamp.

Before you pump your fists in fury, this is not some terrible retribution from Brussels' Brexit. We simply face the inevitable inconvenience of losing EU citizenship. In fact, we are only one of more than 50 countries whose citizens do not need a visa to visit the bloc and will therefore have to use the new system and register their biometric data.

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American model

Basically, what Brussels is doing is following the American ESTA model which allows us to visit the United States without a visa, provided we register our details and fill out a questionnaire in its computerized immigration system before we travel. The aim of this and the new EU system, known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), is to improve border security, track unwanted or dangerous visitors and make it harder for people to forge or use stolen documents.

So how will ETIAS work when it finally arrives? Essentially, you will have to go through a process not too dissimilar to what we had to go through when the travel systems associated with Covid were introduced. Using the new app or website, you will need to upload some personal information, including passport details and answer a series of security questions about any crimes you may have committed and health questions related to certain medical conditions, infectious diseases or communicable diseases. Finally, you will have to pay an application fee of €7. The EU says most applications will be processed "within minutes".

Assuming you are successful, you will receive a pass which, combined with your passport, entitles you to visit the EU for 90 days out of every 180 days. It will last for three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. In addition to the automatic border check, you will also need to present your ETIAS pass to your airline, train or ferry company before travelling. The EU says that attempting to cross the border without ETIAS "could have serious consequences, including refusal of entry to a Schengen member state".

The latest news is that ETIAS will be introduced sometime in 2024.

What about EES?

Meanwhile, another big change is planned: a new EU Entry and Exit System (EES), which will automatically check the validity of the passports and ETIAS passes (or visas) of visitors from non-Schengen countries every time they cross the EU. outer border. It was due to be implemented in May but is said to be delayed by at least six months until November this year (the Telegraph has contacted the EU and official confirmation is awaited). It will replace the manual passport stamping system, which is currently the only way for border officials to monitor whether visitors stay within the 90-day visa-free limit.

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It seems like it should make life easier, but they existBig worries in Dover– where passengers will have to get out of their cars and onto buses to use the system – and at Eurostar, which faces a serious challenge in securing enough space for the new electronic gates needed at St Pancras.

The EES is controversial among privacy advocatesbecause the new system will require you to register your fingerprints and a picture of your face. They will be stored in the form of biometric data on EU computers.

This type of surveillance for security and identity purposes is not unheard of. The US has been fingerprinting tourists at its borders for years. They are also required to enter China and with some types of visas at the UK border. But a spokesman for human rights charity Privacy International expressed concern about the process: "These policies have been created without a clear need, but because they are seen as a border security initiative... the normal oversight that would be expected from a mass surveillance exercise surveillance does not apply. Biometric systems process very sensitive data that can be used against you and are prone to failure and abuse. They can be used to misidentify you and lead to a miscarriage of justice.

In practice, however, if you want to enjoy a European vacation, there is not much you can do.

All your questions answered

Although Britain is no longer a member of the EU, UK citizens are entitled to visit the bloc without a visa (up to a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period). Currently, this system is monitored by border officials who manually stamp our passports. However, we will soon have to go through a new online verification process known as ETIAS, which must be completed prior to travel.

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What exactly is ETIAS?

When it is launched next year, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be the EU's way of automatically checking the credentials of visa-free visitors who want to enter the Schengen area. for tourist and business trips and for stays of up to 90 days.

What is the Schengen area?

The zone consists of 26 European countries (22 from the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), which have abolished all internal border controls. Four other EU countries, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus, are expected to join Schengen in due course, although in the meantime UK citizens will still need to apply for an ETIAS pass to visit.

The complete list of countries that require a pass is as follows: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, 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. British citizens will not need an ETIAS pass to travel to the Republic of Ireland.

How can I apply for an ETIAS Pass and how much does it cost?

When it comes into effect in 2024, you'll need to apply online, although the official website and alternative application aren't ready yet. There is a one-off fee of €7 and you will receive a pass that lasts for three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You will need to show your ETIAS pass to your airline, train or ferry company before you travel. The EU says that attempting to cross the border without ETIAS "could have serious consequences, including refusal of entry to a Schengen member state".

What information will you need to provide for the ETIAS Pass?

To apply for ETIAS online, you will need a valid passport from an eligible country and an email address. You will also need to fill in some personal information including your full name, date of birth and country of residence. And at the end of the process there will be some safety and health issues (see below). You will have to pay the €7 entry fee by debit or credit card. The EU says most orders "will be processed within minutes".

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What will happen to the information you give to the EU?

All applications are automatically checked against a number of security databases, including EUROPOL, Interpol and a special watch list that includes certain individuals on the UN war criminals list and those who have committed or are likely to commit terrorist or serious crimes.

What are the health issues of ETIAS?

We don't yet know the exact questions that will be asked, but there will be a series of questions about whether you have had or are suffering from certain medical conditions, infectious or contagious diseases. They will be automatically checked against the database. If you fail these checks, a more detailed investigation will follow to confirm whether or not an ETIAS pass will be issued.

What are the ETIAS security issues?

Applicants will be asked to declare whether they have a criminal record involving criminal mischief, terrorism, violence, drug or human trafficking or sexual assault within the last 10 years (20 years for terrorism).

Can you get an ETIAS if you have a criminal record?

The EU says that, you will “in most cases, providing criminal record information will not breach ETIAS visa exemption requirements. However, some serious offenses may lead to rejection. ”In such cases, they would have to apply for the appropriate Schengen visa at the embassy of the country they are traveling to.

What is the difference between ETIAS and EES?

The EES is a new EU entry/exit system that will automatically register and screen visitors from non-Schengen countries – whether visa or ETIAS pass holders – whenever they cross the EU's external border. It will replace a system of manual passport stamping, which is currently the only way for border officials to monitor whether visitors, such as those from the UK, stay within the 90-day limit for visa-free travel.

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The new system will record the person's name, travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial images) and date and place of entry and exit. You will need to register your photos and fingerprints, which will be stored as biometric data.

Where can I find out more?

For updates and more detailed information, visit the EU ETIAS This article is updated with the latest information.


Will I be able to travel to Europe in 2023? ›

Once implemented in 2023, each and every traveler entering Europe without a visa will need one. The purpose of ETIAS is to enhance border security to the EU. It is designed for short-term (90 days or less) visits to the EU and will be required for entry to the EU after the projected ETIAS launch date of November 2023.

Is it a good time to travel to Europe now? ›

In general, the best time to visit Europe is during the shoulder season. In most European countries the shoulder runs from mid-April to mid-June and again during the month of September. This is the best time to go for cheaper prices and fewer crowds, while still offering relatively decent weather.

Do US citizens need a visa for Europe 2023? ›

In mid-to-late 2023, U.S. citizens and nationals of over 60 other countries will need an electronic travel authorization to visit much of Europe. Travelers to any Schengen-zone country will have to register with a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

How does the EU 90 day rule work? ›

You can stay 90 days in any 180-day period within the Schengen area. calculated individually for each of these states. For instance, after a 90-day stay in the Schengen area, the person can immediately travel to Croatia and stay for another 90 days there. The 180-day reference period is not fixed.

Will 2023 be a good time to travel? ›

The U.S. Travel Foundation is forecasting an increase in travel spending in 2023 compared to 2022 (or 2019, for that matter). As a traveler, that means you should still expect completely full flights and plenty of other visitors at popular travel spots.

Will Europe charge for entry in 2024? ›

The long-awaited European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be implemented in 2024, adding an entry fee of a little under $8 for non-European passport holders. The ETIAS was initially set to go into effect at some point this year, but guidelines around it have some European countries at odds.

What is the cheapest month to fly to Europe? ›

Key Takeaways. The late fall and winter months—from mid to late October through mid-to-late March—are often the cheapest time to fly to Europe (though fares can spike in December).

Is now a good time to travel to Europe from USA? ›

"Shoulder season" — generally April through mid-June, and September through October — combines the advantages of both peak- and off-season travel. In shoulder season, you'll enjoy decent weather, long-enough daylight, fewer crowds, and a local tourist industry still ready to please and entertain.

Is air travel in Europe improving? ›

Flights in Europe are taking off again – though they're not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, new data shows. Commercial flights – defined as flights carrying passengers, freight and mail – grew 25% between August 2021 and August 2022, according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office.

How long can a U.S. citizen stay in Europe? ›

With a valid U.S. passport, you can stay up to 90 days for tourism or business during any 180-day period. Do not overstay! You must wait an additional 90 days before applying to re-enter the Schengen area. To stay longer than 90 days, you must have a visa.

What countries do not accept U.S. passport? ›

Below there is a list of countries and territories where US citizens must obtain a visa. What countries do not accept U.S. passport?
Visa Requirements for US Citizens.
Visa requirements
Republic of the CongoSouth Sudan
16 more rows

Can a U.S. citizen live permanently in Europe? ›

Yes, Americans can move to Europe. There are a variety of options available, with Golden Visas, Digital Nomad Visas, and other residency schemes available.

Can I stay in Europe for 6 months? ›

Your total stay in the Schengen area must be no more than 90 days in every 180 days. It does not matter how many countries you visit. The 180-day period keeps 'rolling'. To work out if your stay is within the 90 day limit, use the following steps.

How strict is the 90 days in Europe? ›

Under the terms of Schengen, non-EEA nationals cannot spend more than a total of 90 days within a total period of 180 days without a visa. Furthermore, once you've used up your quota of 90 days, you cannot return to Schengen until 90 more days have passed.

What happens if you don't leave Europe after 90 days? ›

If you don't leave by the time you hit 90 days, you are subject to a fine or deportation — worst-case scenario, you will be banned from the Schengen Area for a period of time (1-3 years) or indefinitely.

Where is riskiest to visit 2023? ›

The most dangerous countries to visit in 2023 are Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen according to the latest Travel Risk Map, an interactive tool produced by security specialists at International SOS.

Will flight costs go down in 2023? ›

Travel experts predict airfare will remain high in 2023, with some forecasts saying prices will drop by September or October once the summer travel season ends. Travelers are eager to make up for lost adventures due to COVID-19 restrictions, particularly on international travel.

Will airline prices drop in 2023? ›

It is uncertain when flight prices will drop in 2023 as the travel industry is still recovering from the ongoing impact of the pandemic and economic crisis. However, prices tend to be lower during off-peak travel seasons and higher during peak seasons.

Can you travel Europe with 3000 dollars? ›

Planning a two-week European vacation for under $3,000 is definitely possible! To start, you'll want to focus on budget airlines and accommodations. Look into flights with Ryanair or EasyJet as they often have great deals. You can also look into hostels or Airbnb's for accommodation options that won't break the bank.

What happens if you stay in Europe longer than 3 months? ›

The Schengen law states that you can't stay in the Schengen Area for more than 90 days. If you do, you're subject to a fine and possibly deportation and being banned from re-entering the Schengen Area.

How to stay in Europe for 5 years? ›

Ways To Stay In Europe For More Than 90 Days
  1. Split Up Schengen and Non-Schengen Countries.
  2. Working Holiday Visa.
  3. Become a Student at a European University.
  4. Long Term Tourist Visa.
  5. Language Assistant Program.
  6. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Jobs.
  7. Self Employment or Freelance Visa.
  8. European Passport.
Jan 30, 2022

Why are flights to Europe so expensive right now? ›

"In part because of a holdover from (the COVID-19 pandemic), in part because of a labor shortage and in part because you make more money flying fewer airlines each of which is full of people paying higher prices," he said. Labor shortages in particular are taking a toll on the airline industry.

Is it better to fly to Europe in the morning or Evening? ›

The best time to fly to Europe

If you want to avoid jet lag as much as possible, try to find a flight that arrives in Europe in the mid-afternoon or evening. This means leaving North America in the early morning.

What is the most expensive month to fly to Europe? ›

Book at least 4 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price. High season is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to Europe is February.

How often can a US citizen visit Europe? ›

Because the ETIAS is valid for short-term stays of up to 90 days for both leisure and business travelers, you'll be able to re-enter Europe multiple times within that three-year period without renewing it, as long as your stay doesn't exceed 90 days within a 180-day period.

Is it safe for an American to travel to Europe? ›

The answer is yes. On March 1, the EU lifted many of its Covid-19 travel restrictions. Countries like France dropped most of their testing and quarantine requirements. You may have to fill out a few more forms before you arrive in the country, but otherwise, there isn't a lot of red tape.

Why is flying to Italy so expensive? ›

Experts blame high fuel prices, a shortage of planes and pilots, and a surge in tourism. Prices on some routes have doubled since 2019. Karen Ward and her husband Michael of Lafayette, California, were very glad they booked their flight to Italy last year when prices were still low.

Which airlines have the most cancellations in Europe? ›

Lufthansa, one of the companies most affected by staff restrictions and strikes, tops the list of airlines with the highest number of cancellations with a total of 2,521 scheduled flights that were canceled at the last minute in Europe.

Why are flights in Europe cheaper than flights in the US? ›

Europe has a geographical advantage

However, Europe's much higher density of cities and smaller — previously underused — airports were a natural advantage for the low-budget carriers. They can offer tickets to smaller airports at much lower cost because landing fees there are usually less expensive.

Why are so many flights in Europe cancelled? ›

Staff shortages were the main cause of the chaos. Many thousands of aviation workers were made redundant during the COVID pandemic, so airlines and airports struggled to deal with a sudden surge in the number of travellers last year.

Can a US citizen live in Europe for a year? ›

If you're going to work in Europe for a year, or if you want to stay in one country for the full year, you're going to need a visa. There are a ton of different visas, and each country has different entry criteria. Most countries offer sponsored work visas, familial visas, student visas, or retirement visas.

How long can you live in Europe without citizenship? ›

With the Schengen Visa, you'll be able to stay for up to 90 days in Europe. However, you may be wondering how to move to Europe for longer than three months. If this is the case, then you'll need to apply for a long-term visa.

Should you carry your passport with you in Europe? ›

In general, across Europe, you should carry either your passport or a copy of it. You are required by law to have a valid form of identification.

How strong is U.S. passport? ›

The American passport is currently ranked 6th among global passports, according to the Guide Passport Ranking Index.

How strong is the U.S. passport? ›

Although the Henley Passport Index states that it expects the U.S. to remain solidly at no. 7 on the list, last year's Global Citizen Solutions Global Passport Index named the U.S. passport the world's most powerful based on its ranking of investment, quality of life and enhanced mobility indices in 2022.

Where can U.S. citizens go without a visa? ›

Let's Look At The US Passport Visa-Free Countries

Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

Where do most Americans live in Europe? ›

If you can handle the cold, Germany and the Netherlands are two of the most popular countries for expats, both offering international communities and unique residency options. Switzerland: Although many European countries offer a better quality of life than the U.S., Switzerland takes the cake.

Is it better to move to USA or Europe? ›

Key Takeaways. Overall, Europe has a lower cost of living due to lower healthcare expenses, a weakening euro currency, and low inflation. Europeans, however, tend to pay more of their income to taxes, and average wages tend to be lower than in America.

Can you lose U.S. citizenship living abroad? ›

No Longer Can One Lose U.S. Citizenship By Living in Another Country. At this time, no penalties exist if a naturalized U.S. citizen simply goes to live in another country. This is a distinct benefit of U.S. citizenship, since green card holders can have their status taken away for "abandoning" their U.S. residence.

How long can Americans stay in UK? ›

You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other permitted activities. You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You might be able to apply to stay for longer in certain circumstances, for example to get medical treatment.

How can I travel to Europe for more than 3 months? ›

9 ways to travel in Europe longer than the 90-day Schengen Area Rule
  1. Travel back and forth between Schengen and non-Schengen countries. ...
  2. Digital nomad visas. ...
  3. Long stay visas. ...
  4. Bilateral visa waiver agreement between your home country and a country in the EU. ...
  5. Working holiday visa. ...
  6. Student Visa. ...
  7. Become a Language Assistant.
Dec 12, 2022

Which country gives the longest Schengen visa? ›

If you want to go to a one-day conference in the Netherlands and a two-day conference in France, your purpose of travel is the same for both countries. Apply for a visa for France, because you will be staying there the longest.

What happens if I overstay Schengen? ›

Authorities will also punish you whether your overstay beyond your Schengen Visa's validity was intentional or unintentional. You could receive a fine, immediate deportation or even get banned from entering the Schengen Area for a period.

Is Spain looking to relax 90 day rule? ›

Spain wants to scrap the 90-day limit and allow long-term stays for UK visitors, according to property and real estate firm Lucas Fox.

How long can I stay in Italy? ›

U.S. citizens may enter Italy for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. All non-residents are required to complete a declaration of presence (dichiarazione di presenza).

What happens if you stay in the US past 90 days? ›

Negative Consequences of Briefly Overstaying 90 Days on VWP

The bad news: Because you stayed past the date authorized by the Department of Homeland Security, you will be ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and might have a more difficult time obtaining a visa to enter the United States in the future.

Can I come back to Schengen after 90 days? ›

A non-EU national who stays in the Schengen area beyond 90 days (without a residence permit or long-stay visa) is illegally present, which can result in a re-entry ban to the Schengen area.

Can I stay in Portugal for 6 months? ›

Temporary stay visas allow entry and stay in Portugal for less than a year. Temporary stay visas are valid during the entire stay and allow for multiple entries. Residency visas allow two entries and is valid for a period of 4 months.

What is the travel forecast for 2023? ›

Total visits to California should reach 279.1 million in 2023, an increase of 8% from 2022. California total visitation is expected to increase another 5% to 292.3 million visitors in 2024.

What is the travel outlook for 2023? ›

More than 90% of Americans plan to travel in 2023. The majority (86%) are planning a trip out of state, while nearly 1 in 3 (30%) are planning on vacationing abroad.

Will international travel be cheaper in 2023? ›

In 2023, travelers should expect higher prices for almost all travel-related expenses, including flights. Expected price increases for many locations around the world are listed below to help travelers prepare for the upcoming year.

Will travel decrease in 2023? ›

There may be hope on the horizon, though. “In 2023, we expect that [trend] to reverse and year-over-year fares to fall,” Keyes said, pointing to Federal Reserve data indicating recent, modest drops in airfare—a shift that comes as airlines have begun to add more flights, fueling competition.

What are the travel changes in May 2023? ›

Beginning May 3, 2023, U.S. travelers flying within the United States will need to show Transportation Security Administration agents either a security-enhanced driver's license that's Real ID-compliant or another T.S.A.-approved form of identification like a passport.

How many Americans will travel in 2023? ›

More specifically, Americans are expected to take 3.8 million international vacation trips during 2023, up from 2.2 million in 2019, before the pandemic, a 72% increase. Meanwhile, the average American traveler will spend $15,364 on international travel next year, up 16% from pre-pandemic spending projections.

Are airline prices going to drop in 2023? ›

Airfare prices took a nosedive during spring 2020 and generally stayed low just about every month until the end of 2021, when prices rapidly increased. In May 2022, airfares hit a record high. But airfares are finally dropping, with March 2023 prices down 16.8% from those May highs.

What are the cheapest months to fly in 2023? ›

♦ Cheapest month to fly: January or February

For the lowest fares on domestic flights, travel in January or February. But for international trips, you'll find the cheapest fare in August.

How far in advance should I book an international flight for 2023? ›

Time your booking right

“For international flights — [it's] four to 10 months.” If you're traveling during an off-peak season, you're going to want to look at airfares one to three months in advance for domestic flights, and two to eight months ahead of the flight for international trips.

Will 2023 be a better economy? ›

The global economy is projected to grow well below the outcomes expected before the war – at a modest 3.1% this year [2022], before slowing to 2.2% in 2023 and recovering moderately to a still sub-par 2.7% pace in 2024,” it added.


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