EU officials have announced the timeline for the implementation of a new travel pass, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). This system, a prerequisite for traveling to 30 European countries, requires online approval linked to your passport, lasting up to three years or until your passport expires.

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Travelers from the UK and various other nations, including Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Cyprus, will need an ETIAS before visiting these countries. The cost is approximately seven euros per person (just over £6 in the UK) payable by credit or debit card during the application, applicable to adults aged 18 to 70, while exempting younger and older individuals from this fee.

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The EU’s Council highlighted the implementation of information systems like Eurodac and the Schengen Information System (SIS) to support judicial, police, and border authorities. Additionally, upcoming systems such as the Entry/Exit System, replacing manual passport stamping with electronic registration, and ETIAS for visa-exempt travelers are in deployment stages.

The revised roadmap indicates that the Entry/Exit System will operate by Autumn 2024, with ETIAS expected to be operational from mid-2025, though it had faced delays, interlinked with the Entry/Exit System’s deployment.

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While initial estimations pointed to a “spring 2025” launch for ETIAS, the revised timeframe hints at a later commencement, possibly in June or after. Notably, officials suggest ETIAS might not be operational before May 2025, but efforts aim to implement it before the 2025 summer holiday season.

Eurotunnel speculates a specific start date for the Entry/Exit System in October 6, 2024, yet this awaits EU confirmation. This system will automate border checks without manual passport stamps, capturing biometric data and travel details upon each EU border crossing.

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ETIAS requirements will precede border arrivals, necessitating travelers to obtain approval in advance. Though most applications will process within minutes, some might take longer—up to four days initially, potentially extended to 14 or 30 days, depending on additional information or interviews. Due to potential refusals and processing times, the EU advises applying well in advance of travel plans.

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