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With the summer holidays nearly over for this year, we wanted to give you an insight into what is coming next year with the introduction of the digital travel permit so you’re prepared before booking your jollies next year.

As of 2024, the EU will be introducing a new digital travel permit, The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which will be needed by all non-EU citizens when travelling to any country within the Schengen Zone.

Here’s what we know and what it will mean for your summer holiday next year.

What is the Schengen Zone?

The Schengen Zone covers most EU countries, except Ireland and countries soon to be added, such as Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus. There are 27 countries in total which currently have free movement between their borders.

What are the ETIAS?

The ETIAS is a digital travel permit that is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to any of the included countries. The permit will be linked to a traveller’s passport and will be valid for up to three years or until the passport expires.

The permit will allow you to travel to the country of your choice as often as you want for short-term stays. The same rules apply for length of stay within 180 days (usually 90 days).

Why is it being introduced?

The permit is being introduced to improve the security of EU member states by checking the applicant and the suitability to travel to that country. The system will capture data on travellers that visit the area without a visa.

When is it being introduced?

At the moment, it is expected in 2024. We will keep you informed as soon as we have more information.

How do I get an ETIAS, and how much will it cost?

The application will be available online and on mobile and will cost €7 (free for under 18s and over 70s). The process should be easy to follow, and the permit should be granted quickly, subject to there being no issues with an application. However, obtaining your permit before booking your travel or accommodation is advisable.

What does it mean if I want to move abroad?

Nothing, you should continue to apply for residency in a country as usual. ETIAS are only for nationals of visa-exempt countries travelling to the EU for short-term stays. If you have a residence permit, residence card or a document authorising your stay in that country, you do not need an ETIAS.

If you have any questions about legal travel requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us; our experienced immigration lawyers would be happy to help.