Europe To Charge Visa-free Travellers A New Entry Fee

Having endured two years of fluctuating COVID-19 related entry rules and border restrictions, travelers from the United States planning to visit Europe will find themselves confronted with some new requirements by this time next year, despite the fact that they are completely unrelated to the flu pandemic.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will require people from other countries to register by the spring of 2019. Furthermore, they will begin charging foreigners $7.40 a day to visit most European nations.

Even while it’s been referred to as a “visitor tax,” the payment is really an application fee for tourists who want to apply for an ETIAS permission, which will be required for entry into any of the 26 member countries of the European Union and Schengen region for stays of up to 90 days. Specifically, it is asserted that the required registration, pre-screening, and related costs are being implemented to assist with the region’s border security.

It is only applicable to tourists visiting the EU and Schengen member nations from one of the 62 countries that now enjoy visa-free entry to the EU and Schengen member countries, which includes the United States. Those who must get a visa in order to travel will not have to bother about submitting an application via ETIAS.

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a computerized system used by the United States Department of Homeland Security to decide whether non-Americans traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are permitted to enter the United States.

Foreign visitors will be registered, pre-screened, and monitored by ETIAS using technology, with software cross-checking their profiles against government watchlists and databases before granting entrance authorizations. This is designed to provide an additional layer of defense against risks such as crime, terrorism, and “irregular migration.” The information gathered from visitors throughout the procedure will be used for data monitoring for commercial and tourist reasons as well as for research.

“We need to know who is entering our borders,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, who was President of the European Commission at the time of the ETIAS’s first announcement in 2016. This manner, we will be able to identify those who are heading to Europe before they ever arrive.

While this new pre-travel authorisation system has been in the works for years, it has seen some setbacks. ETIAS now expects to be fully operational by May 2023, after experiencing some setbacks.

Travelers who do not need a visa will be asked to register their information and answer a few background questions via the ETIAS online site, and they will then be obliged to wait for authorisation before leaving for their destination. The majority of applicants should be able to get travel permission in a matter of minutes. If an applicant’s registration is detected, however, it will need to be evaluated by an administrator manually. If one’s application is refused, there is also an appeals procedure available.

Airlines and other transportation providers will be compelled to check passengers’ ETIAS authorisation status before allowing them to board flights once the system is fully operational. Visitor seeking admission at land borders who do not need a visa will also be able to submit their application at an electronic kiosk located at the border.

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