The rules around travelling in Europe are changing. From 2025, you’ll have to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation if you want to travel to Europe.
Here, you’ll find out if you need an ETIAS, what exactly it is, when it starts, how long it lasts, and more.
Who needs an ETIAS?
If you’re a citizen of the UK, you will need to get an ETIAS travel authorisation if you’re planning to travel to Europe for any length of stay. This is because the UK is not part of the Schengen Visa scheme. So even if you’re just planning a city break or overnight stay in Europe, you’ll need a valid ETIAS.
You’ll also need an ETIAS if you:
- Are not an EU national
- Are a citizen of any other country that isn’t part of the Schengen Visa scheme
- Don’t have a resident permit from an EU country that requires an ETIAS
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS is a new travel authorisation entry requirement for people travelling to Europe from visa-exempt countries. It means you can travel around Europe as often as you like for short-term stays. This depends on the country, but usually up to 90 days in a 180 day-period. It works similarly to an ESTA, the equivalent visa waiver scheme for the USA.
There are 30 European countries that you’ll need an ETIAS for, including some of the most popular holiday destinations like France, Spain and Portugal.
When does ETIAS start?
The new rules come into place in 2025, so if you’re planning a holiday for then, make sure you think about when to apply.
How do I apply for an ETIAS?
You’ll be able to apply for an ETIAS online through the ETIAS website or mobile app. Before you apply, make sure you have your passport to hand.
You’ll need to make sure that your passport isn’t going to expire within three months of your return date before you apply for your ETIAS. If it does, your application might be rejected and you could be refused entry at the border.
When you start your online application, you’ll be asked for some information including:
- Personal information (name, date of birth, nationalities)
- Your parents’ first name(s)
- Passport or other travel document details
- Education and job title
- Where you’re staying and the address
- Criminal history
You should get an email once your application is processed, but it can sometimes take up to 96 hours. If there’s a delay, they might ask you for additional information or even an interview with authorities. This means that it could take even longer. It’s worth applying for your ETIAS as soon as you’ve booked your trip so you have peace of mind that it’ll be sorted before your holiday.
Can I apply for ETIAS now?
Applications for an ETIAS aren’t open yet, and there will be a 180-day grace window after it starts in 2025.
How long does ETIAS last?
Your ETIAS will be linked to your passport, and is valid for up to three years, or until your passport expires. If your passport expires before three years, you’ll need to get a new ETIAS.
If you’re travelling for a while, make sure your passport is still in date for three months after your return date. Even if you have an ETIAS, you could be refused entry at the border if you don’t have enough time left on your passport.
How much will ETIAS cost?
The application costs 7 euros. You’ll need to have a payment card to hand, and there are a number of online payment options when you fill out your application.
There are a few exceptions to this fee. You won’t have to pay if you are:
- Under 18
- Over 70
- Family members of EU citizens or non-EU nationals who have the right to roam freely in the EU
Will I need travel insurance to get my ETIAS?
Unlike some schemes, such as the Schengen Visa, you don’t need travel insurance as a condition of your ETIAS application.
But travel insurance is an important part of your holiday planning, with cover for medical expenses, cancellations, lost luggage and more. So it’s always worth comparing quotes and finding the right policy for you. That way, you’ll have peace of mind when travelling to Europe with all your travel documents ready.