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EU will charge for entry. Here's how it will work

EU will charge for entry. Here's how it will work

The hour is finally drawing near. From 2024, it will no longer be free to travel in Europe.

The EU has announced the launch of the visa waiver scheme, ETIAS.

The new scheme, ETIAS, is not the same as a visa - it is faster, done online and does not require biometric information - there is still a procedure and a cost to obtain it, rather like the US scheme, ESTA.

The move affects around 60 countries, including the US and Great Britain, which lost freedom of movement after Brexit.

The ETIAS authorization is valid for an unlimited number of entries for three years. However, holders must comply with immigration and overstay rules. Currently, third-country nationals cannot stay more than 90 days in the bloc in total, in any 180-day period.

Cost: €7 ($7.35) for those aged 18 to 70. It is not yet clear whether others will have a reduced fee or be able to apply for free. By comparison, the US charges $21 for an ESTA authorization.

Participating countries

When Etias fully launches, most countries in the EU will require a valid Etias when you arrive at their borders. Participating countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia , Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Purpose of ETIAS

The main goal of Etias is to improve security without making international travel challenging for citizens of countries that currently do not require visas to visit. Over time, this system is expected to reduce the spread of crime and prevent terrorist attacks.