The ETIAS visa waiver programme is not to be confused with a visa. It is a system for visitors from visa-exempt countries to pre-register their visits. The cost for this is 7 euros (about Rs 623), and it provides numerous admissions for three years, or until the passport expires
Travelers wait at the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence, Italy. Reuters
Travelling to Europe is set to become more expensive.
Starting in 2024, it will no longer be free to travel to the EU.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) permission will be needed prior to arrival, according to the official travel website of the European Union.
Here is all you need to know about the system.
All about ETIAS visa waiver
According to the EU website, ETIAS “is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to any of these 30 European countries.”
The ETIAS visa waiver programme is not to be confused with a visa. It is a system for visitors from visa-exempt countries to pre-register their visits.
It should be noted here that those countries which currently need visas to enter will still need them.
”The rules of travel to Europe have changed. Starting from 2024, some 1.4 billion people from over 60 visa-exempt countries are required to have a travel authorisation to enter most European countries,” the EU website stated.
The programme has been introduced to evaluate potential security concerns associated with travellers before their arrival and stop cross-border crime and terrorism, NDTV had reported.
According to CNN, initially, ETIAS was slated to start in May this year, however, it has been pushed back quite a few times. With the latest notice, it seems the system will be implemented next year.
This move has surprised many, especially Americans. However, it should be noted here the ETIAS system is modelled on the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver program, which was introduced in 2009.
The government further explains that ETIAS clearance is only meant for short visits, which are limited to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Notably, ETIAS visas are electronically connected to the traveller’s passport rather than physical paperwork.
The ETIAS approval remains valid for three years or until the registered passport expires, whichever occurs first.
Similar to the ESTA system, visitors are required to ask for permission to enter Europe prior to their travel through a simple online process.
The EU will offer applications through a dedicated website and mobile application when the ETIAS requirement goes into effect the following year. Travellers must submit information from their passports or another travel document to which a visa can be attached in order to apply.
For minors under their custody, parents and legal guardians may submit an application.
An email will be used to confirm the submission of the application and contain a special number that is required for future use. If an application is denied, the email notifying the applicant of the decision will also include instructions on how to appeal.
The cost is 7 euros (about Rs 623), and it provides numerous admissions for three years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. An ESTA costs $21 (~ Rs 1,736) for two years, hence this is less expensive.
The EU anticipates that applications will be processed in “minutes,” with the vast majority being processed in 96 hours.
Other tourist taxes in Europe
The majority of cities in continental Europe now impose a “tourist tax” on overnight guests; this fee is often added to your bill at check-out but occasionally must be paid in cash.
Public services like trash removal and street cleaning that are impacted by tourists are typically cushioned by the taxes. The public transportation system in Amsterdam, for instance, recently received an additional 7 million euros. Additionally, they are often only charged for a predetermined time frame, usually up to a week. By doing this, staying longer will be rewarded.
Since most European nations impose overnight fees, you’ll probably have to pay one wherever you visit if you don’t stay the night, but the rates are typically lower in less well-known areas.
Since cruises are bad for the environment, some places, like the Netherlands’ capital Amsterdam have imposed arrival fees on cruise travellers.
However, in Venice, arrival charges are imposed on all vessels, not just cruise ships. Non-resident travellers in Italy are required to pay the “contributo di sbarco” or “disembarkation contribution” when they travel by public ferry or private boat to an island. Local government bodies determine the pricing.
Source : First Post